03 giugno 2016

Nel centenario della nascita del vikingo della Sesta Strada a New York, Marie-Hélène Estève cura per la francese Lenka Lente una graziosa pubblicazione bilingue con una cinquantina di frammenti poetici e filosofici composti da Louis Thomas Hardin, a tutti noto come Moondog50 Couplets. Volendo, li si trova in originale anche in http://www.moondogscorner.de

The French imprint Lenka Lente has published a slim volume of poetic couplets by the late US composer, instrument inventor and street musician Louis Hardin aka Moondog. Called 50 Couplets, the 40 page bilingual pamphlet includes the original English and French translations of Moondog’s words of wisdom, which he typically expressed in two line rhymes.
Moondog’s discography is relatively small but his music grabbed the imaginations of wildly different musicians, including US minimalists like Steve Reich and Philip Glass, and UK jazz composer Kenny Graham. However, his poetry preceded his music records. “We always read about Moondog as a poet - blind and dressed like a Viking, of course, to catch the attention of possible new listeners,” states Lenka Lente’s Guillaume Belhomme. “In the 1940s, about ten years before Tony Schwartz first recorded him, he used to photocopy and sell his sarcastic poems in the streets of New York - he had some problems with the police for that.”
The pieces making up 50 Couplets mark a progression from those earlier writings. Belhomme calls them “small fairy tales, love stories or even insults that tell about philosophy, history, environment, politics, economy… We could think of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, as Moondog often refers to nature - reminiscences of his childhood maybe, fishing, hunting, riding horses in Wyoming. But, indeed, it’s possible too that Moondog had one and only one influence: himself.