Jean “Binta” Breeze was a Jamaican dub poet.
Two art icons of the Low Countries, the area where I live and where Dutch is spoken, died. One was an artist, the other a poet.
One is Panamarenko (1940 – 2019) and I reported his death here.
The other is the Dutch poet Jules Deelder (1944 – 2019).
When the second died I felt empathy, some sense of loss that I had not felt with the first.
And then it dawned on me why that was. To me, Panamarenko was but some sort of town’s fool who made art to amuse the rich or for the ‘poor little rich folk’ who were in search of their inner child and recognized in him their boy’s dream. Although I did not dislike him, my feelings toward him had been at best ambiguous.
Deelder was another case altogether.
I’d always liked him. He was punk. He was into drugs. He snorted speed. He looked stylish. He was into music. He made poetry cool. He made art for the rich and poor. He crossed boundaries. He was sharp. He was funny.
For an international audience, there are a set of four jazz compilations: ‘Deelder draait’ (2002), ‘Deelder draait door’ (2003), ‘Deelder blijft draaien’ (2004) and ‘Deelderhythm’ (2006).
One of the most beautiful scenes in cinema is the invention-of-a-metaphor scene in in Il Postino. An eager-to-learn mailman becomes seasick after listening to a poem of a restless sea recited by Pablo Neruda. He feels like he were “tossing on words”.
Pablo Neruda: [after reading a poem] What do you think?
Mario Ruoppolo: I felt seasick, in fact.
Mario Ruoppolo: I can’t explain it. I felt like…like a boat tossing around on those words.[…]
Pablo Neruda: Do you know what you’ve done, Mario?
Mario Ruoppolo: No, what?
Pablo Neruda: You’ve invented a metaphor. Yes, you have!