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I’m asking my poem and it will answer

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Interview with the poet Pavol Hudák (Touches 2006/1)

It is said that everything relates to everything. We have known for a long time that if it were the truth, universe would be broken down by destroying a grain of sand in desert. Science would be meaningless and philosophy would be purely speculative, if we were not able to base it on strong foundations. In spite of it, I'm fascinated that in poetry, you are able to give absolute meaning of universe to a grain in desert dunes. Such literary vision, as though believing in other worlds does not disrupt the art, but on the contrary, in contrast to science it puts the art on a pedestal of creative spirit, because it reminds of strange situation: when the man is leaving, with regard to eternity, his death means nothing, but with regard to an essential instant, the whole world is dying with him. How do you perceive your position in society and in this chaotic world?

You are talking about literary vision as though believing in other worlds. I have the feeling that there is a great number of those worlds, they are literally buzzing around us like electrical wires. I have lost the children's innocence a long time ago, when I didn't even realize that the Earth is round. Everything was easy, clear, united. Of course, some kind of disillusionment followed after that, everybody knows it. Earth was rounded; suddenly it was no endless flat land with waving fields of corn or wheat somewhere in the native region of Zemplín. It is the same with universe and worlds around us. Is this world the only one? Does God have so weak fantasy? I don't think so. Does only this world exist, with blood running through the streams and children dying with swarms of insects on the face? I have various periods with feelings and images which don't want to leave me, until they leave themselves and remain, for example, in the form of a poem. Recently I have been often coming out from myself and climbing somewhere into the universe. At any day or night moment, in a car or in a grocery store. I'm climbing up, into that blue space darkness. But not as a pseudoromantic versifier or a moaning teenage girl. I'm fine there, I'm far away, I feel that pleasant coolness and calming light of stars, clusters, whole galaxies. And I'm looking at Earth. At that miniature piece of rock, where some microbes with two legs have been trying to destroy and prey each other for ages. Sometimes I have the feeling that all this is a mistake, abortive experiment. There are some divine things – love, friendship, beauty of women, innocent children's face, music, poetry. And there are devilish, bad things – wars, hunger, hatred, unceasing torture of people during whole millenniums. Very interesting combination and taste. So all this is a mistake or an intention. However, God is not playing dice, as the classic says. Those drops of henbane in the glass with honey are really some contrastive matter. In order to know how to distinguish the good and evil, the beauty and ugliness. But – does it have to be so? Couldn't the "Boss" as God was once called by Dušan Mitana arrange it differently? Who would like to suffer in order to find the good and beauty afterward? There is no answer. We absolutely don't know anything definitive. We don't know who we are, where we came from and where we are walking to. It's a feeling that one can go crazy from that. There are only some expected answers. In good music, poetry, art. And then you are glad that this art exists. That it is a gift by the help of which you nevertheless feel and understand something. Thanks to that, your head won't explode, you won't drink yourself to death, you won't go crazy. Maybe other worlds exist. Maybe one day we will also find there ourselves. Debussy or something like that is heard from there, beautiful women don't go there, but float or fly, there are colours and images which can't be found on Earth. There is no suffering or death. But I'm often thankful also for this imperfect earthly life. In the morning, there is a cigarette end lying next to dandelion on the pavement. Pub at the station in Poprad smells of night cigarettes and beer. In the near park, ravens are madly croaking in the sunny morning. They don't have other voices. Only those black and hoarse ones. We underestimate them, but maybe they are talking with God. And they thank for this morning also on behalf of us.

Radovan Brenkus

Poetry of Hudák is about seeing the crazy music, about restless, torturing nights, desperate night phone calls with an unknown voice, about searching for water in times of greatest thirst as well as about boozing, so that nothingness as a first-hand experience could get a man out of lethargy, so that it would be somehow possible to experience the happiness. Poet as an observer turns everything upside down, and even if he paralyzes the readerʼs expectations, he leads him to catharsis just like Kahloʼs paintings, in which the modifications of particularly pessimistic backgrounds show the innocence of likeliness, inability of having a sovereign control of own inside – and in this way the poetry par excellence is created.

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