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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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「思い込み」から逃れるには

 
学びの「気づき」を得ることが時に難しいように自分の価値観が一方的な立場に過ぎないもので、特に「思い込み」に近いものだったと分かるのも難しいものです。まあ年を経れば若気の至りを思い知らされることもありますが、一方で頑迷な年寄りになってしまった人も多く見かけます。

「文学は役立つ」なんて大上段から語るつもりはありませんが、そんなことを気づかせてもらえたのがTracy K. Smithの詩。彼女は昨年アメリカ議会図書館からPoet Laureateに指名されましたね。



They're gassing geese outside of JFK.
Tehran will likely fill up soon with blood
The Times is getting smaller day by day.

詩自体は声を上げた民衆(ここでは2011年ごろのイランのツイッター革命を念頭に置いているのでしょうか)が無残にも弾圧させられてしまう姿をニューヨークの空港付近で駆除される水鳥に重ね合わせているものでしょうか。

ハドソン川の奇跡に最近改めて感動したYutaとしては、飛行機に巻き込まれて死んだ水鳥にまでは想像力が及びませんでした。動画でも触れているようにあの事故以来7万羽の水鳥が駆除されたそうです。

Bird-killing programs at airports ramped up in response to 2009 accident when jetliner was forced to land in Hudson river after birds were sucked into engine
Associated Press in New York
Sat 14 Jan 2017 14.38 GMT

Nearly 70,000 gulls, starling, geese and other birds have been slaughtered in the New York City area, mostly by shooting and trapping, since the 2009 accident in which a jetliner was forced to land in the Hudson river after birds were sucked into its engine.

It is not clear whether those killings have made the skies any safer.

Birds took the blame for bringing down the plane that Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger landed on the Hudson river eight years ago this weekend, an event that inspired the Tom Hanks-starring, Clint Eastwood-directed movie Sully, a box office hit last year. They have been paying for it with their lives ever since.
 
運動家などは当初から反対していたそうで、2012年には以下のような意見記事がありました。渡鳥の場合たまたま居合わせた鳥を殺しても意味がないですよね。効果も疑わしいのに毒殺しているとは。。。

The cruel decision to roundup and exterminate 751 Canada geese at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge last Monday was based on bad science, and counters the very definition of a "wildlife refuge."
By David Karopkin Published : July 15, 2012
 

The roundups are not humane in any way, and carbon dioxide asphyxiation of these birds is especially cruel. The goose meat donated to food banks under the guise of charity are unregulated and insufficiently inspected, in other words, potentially toxic.
 
The removals proceeded despite pleas from animal advocates, aviation experts, biologists, ecologists, and public officials, who agree that the removal of these birds will have no impact on the alleged risk posed to airplanes. Actually, the removals could even prove counterproductive, as other birds can be expected to reoccupy the newly created vacant habitat.

DNA testing by The Smithsonian Institute determined that geese which collided with Flight 1549, the "Miracle on the Hudson," were migrating from Labrador, Canada — and do not live in the area around the city's airports. Geese migrating through New York in January are distinct from the population of geese targeted by summer round-ups; even removing every animal in New York City would not have prevented the potentially horrific incident.

デビットボウイについての詩は次のもので、該当部分を抜粋します。


Bowie is among us. Right here
In New York City. In a baseball cap
And expensive jeans. Ducking into
A deli. Flashing all those teeth
At the doorman on his way back up.
Or he’s hailing a taxi on Lafayette
As the sky clouds over at dusk.
He’s in no rush. Doesn’t feel
The way you’d think he feels.
Doesn’t strut or gloat. Tells jokes.

ちょうど雑誌New Yorkerでも彼女を取り上げたものがありました。動画のように政治的なもの以外にもセクシャルなものもあるようです。

Smith is a storyteller who loves to explore how the body can respond to a lover, to family, and to history.
By Hilton Als

ちょうど桂冠詩人に選ばれた頃、News Hourにも登場していました。言語の使い方を意識するように学生に教えているようです。



Jun 14, 2017 7:18 PM EDT

JEFFREY BROWN: Smith has been a professor at Princeton since 2005 and now heads its creative writing program, teaching small seminars to young poets in the making.
Here especially, she says, the emphasis is on how we use language.
 
TRACY K. SMITH: Yes, this is our library and one of our favorite classrooms.
I want them to start thinking that a poem isn't just an expression of all these things that you're feeling, but it's a set of choices that you're making in language.
So, every description, every question, every statement, every turn is a choice that opens up or closes off certain possibilities. And you don't always think about that when you're sitting down to write in the flush of emotion. But thinking about …
 
昔は詩は文学で重要な部分を占めていましたが、いまは、それって食べれるの状態でしょう。「詩って役立つの?」そんな素朴な問いに彼女は次のように答えています。 
 
JEFFREY BROWN: Now Tracy K. Smith will have a prominent voice, a very public national platform, to reach new audiences.
If you think about the tumultuous times we're in technologically, all kinds of changes around us, if you think about the divisions politically at this moment, it seems like an appropriate moment to say, why poetry? Why bother? Why bother being a poet? What kind of impact could you possibly have, amidst all that?
TRACY K. SMITH:  Mm-hmm.
I will say that a poem allows or requires you to submit to something else. Often …
 
JEFFREY BROWN: Submit means?
TRACY K. SMITH: That's one of the things we don't want to do, to say, OK, I'm not the expert. You're the expert. Let me listen. Let me respond to something that's completely counterintuitive for me, that pulls me toward a different sense of what's valuable.
I think, when we do that with a work of art, we're learning how to do that in real time with other people.
 
 
JEFFREY BROWN: Does that mean even making us better citizens?
TRACY K. SMITH: I think so. Poems remind us of that.
Poems remind us that someone is saying, come here. This has happened to me. This is how it made me feel. This is who I am in the wake of this thing.
And we all have stories like that. And they're important to honor, and they're important also to say, maybe my story helps me listen and cherish this other person's story, too.


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