I am very pleased to once again be joining the Poetry Friday community this week, especially since it is hosted by the ever-ravishing Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup.
We have also just recently launched our reading theme as we explore fantastical realms until end of December. And so I thought this particular book captures that spirit of dreamlike qualities that we hope to feature in the coming weeks. Maybe we do need to take a break from reality in these trying times and just allow our streams of dreams to take us where they will.
Streams and Dreams and Other Themes
Written and Illustrated by: Sonja Danowski Translated by: Anthea Bell
Published by: Minedition, 2012 ISBN: 9881595428 (ISBN13: 9789881595423)
Bought a copy of the book. Book photos taken by me.
I have fallen deeply in love with Sonja Danowski’s art. It was The Forever Flowers which first captivated me, then Grandma Lives in a Perfume Village, and now, this one.
Each page spread is marked by a particular character with a peculiarly-European vibe. Each description is written in verse accompanied by stunning art. It reminded me a little bit of another European title The Book of Memory Gaps by Cecilia Ruiz whereby each page carries three lines about different people who have lost bits and pieces of their precious memories.
In Danowski’s book, however, it is an odd assemblage of fragments: simple life in the farm, “soft balls of coloured wools,” or an untamed garden. But they all come home to the comfort of dreaming – be it when one is sleeping or awake.
There is the peace to be had in taking control of one’s ruminations, then allowing them to take you where they will.
I think there are parts of the text that have been form-fitted into verse in the process of translation, which may account for a slightly stilted vibe to it. It is really the art that is the star here more than the verse.
This one from Wolfgang is what I wanted to share with you Poetry Friday enthusiasts:
The wood is Wolfgang’s favourite place.
He feels fresh breezes on his face
Whenever he goes walking there;
There’s always lots of time to spare.
He brings the trees and quiet streams
Into the country of his dreams,
That fly around from leaf to leaf,
And never seem to come to grief.
It reminded me so much of the Wurm River in Munich – which is practically right outside of my landlady’s, Ursula’s, doorstep. It was such a gift just stepping out of Ursula’s sanctuary and just listen to the pulsing life of the river, while reading a book:
Yes, I do miss Munich terribly. But I do capture its essence through streams and dreams and other themes. Take heart, dear friends in the US. Light always overcomes dark.