aglimpseof 03 . SEMIOTIC THEORY

FROM THE “CANARY” YELLOW” TO THE “WREATH”

APRIL-JUNE 2010

SOURCE TEXT: The poem Semiotic Theory by Kitasono Katue translated by John Solt from his first collection of poetry White Album (Shiru no arubamu, 1929). Poems by Kitasono Katue are published online at www.thing.net/~grist/ld/japan/kitasono.htm

CONTENTS:

• The text and postcards Five Canary Yellow Stripes by Antonis Katsouris are linked to the word “canary”

• The photo 3PM by Dimitra Ioannou is linked to the word “p.m.”

• The photo diptych Crucifixion by Panayiotis Lamprou is linked to the words “white” and “wreath”


A poem made from signs like a list, like a photo, like a view, like a painting; a surrealistic one but not exactly. A Glimpse of’ s 3rd issue begins with “Semiotic theory” written by Kitasono Katue (1902-1978) and translated by John Solt from his first collection of poetry “White album” (Shiru no arubamu, 1929). Kitasono was a considerable figure of the Japanese avant-garde of the prewar period and after, an experimentalist who founded the poetry and arts coterie VOU Club (a word which purposely has no meaning). VOU proved one of the most important avant-garde poetry magazines of the 20th century. Poems by Kitasono Katue are published online at www.thing.net/~grist/ld/japan/kitasono.htm

John Solt has translated a selection of Kitasono’ s poems (“Oceans Beyond Monotonous Space Selected Poems of Kitasono Katue”, Highmoonoon Books, 2007) and written his critical biography (“Shredding the tapestry of meaning: The poetry and poetics of Kitasono Katue”, Harvard University Asia Center, 1999).

Semiotic Theory by Kitasono Katue

white tableware
flower
spoon
spring, 3 p.m.
white
white
red

*

prism architecture
white animal
space

*

blue flag
apple and noble lady
white landscape

*

flowers and musical instruments
white window
wind

*

shell and wreath
slippered young lady
a portrait of a canary’s ripening steamship

*

hothouse’s boy
distant moon
white flower
white

*

cosmetics and fireworks
doll’s blue window
white socks
esthetics
white esthetics

*

silver cubist doll
silver cubist doll
flower and mirror
statics

*

white architecture
far suburban sky
far

*

sky
sea
rooftop garden
cigarette smoking boy, decolorized boy
alone
space

*

magic-making noble lady’s magic-making silver boy
magic-making noble lady’s magic-making silver boy
reflected in red mirror
reflected in red mirror
white hands and eyebrows and flowers
I
space

*

blue sky
can’t see anything
can’t see anything
white residence

*

white distant view
faint pink flag
hopelessness

*

decolorized boy
distant sky
hyacinth
window
white landscape

*

it is happy lifestyle and me
it is happy ideas and me
it is transparent pleasures and me
it is transparent manners and me
it is fresh appetite and me
it is fresh love and me

memories of blue past
all dumped in ink bottle

*

mechanics is dark
plants are heavy

*

white tableware
bouquet and book of poems
white
white
yellow

*

white residence
white
pink noble lady
white distant view
blue sky

*

trumpet aristocrats all wear red bandannas

*

evening formal wear
evening formal wear
evening formal wear
evening formal wear
evening formal wear
boring

***

translated by John Solt

 

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