vrijdag 21 juni 2013

Valse zonnebloemen van Blake

Age Teaching Youth

Two Sunflowers Move in the Yellow Room

“Ah, William, we’re weary of weather,”
said the sunflowers, shining with dew.
“Our traveling habits have tired us.
Can you give us a room with a view?”
They arranged themselves at the window
and counted the steps of the sun,
and they both took root in the carpet
where the topaz tortoises run.

William Blake Nancy Willard
Hoewel "het internet" anders beweert, is dit gedicht dus niet van William Blake, maar van Nancy Willard. De BBC schrijft over een schoolbibliothecaris die dit uitgezocht heeft:
A school librarian has discovered that a poem widely attributed to William Blake, including in school reading lists, was not really written by him.
Rather than the work of an English poet in the 19th Century, Two Sunflowers Move into the Yellow Room was written in the United States in the 1980s.
This mislabelling shows how the internet can replicate errors, warns Thomas Pitchford, a librarian in a Hertfordshire secondary school.
"We just accept too quickly," he says.
[...]
An online search for "Two Sunflowers Move into the Yellow Room" will produce numerous references to this as a poem by William Blake, the radical English writer and artist who died in the 19th Century.
There are essay questions, anthologies, lesson plans, discussion forums, teachers' resources and online reference websites all interpreting this poem as an example of 19th Century poetry.
But Mr Pitchford says that when he saw the poem attributed to William Blake, he immediately thought the style bore little relation to the poet's other work.
He soon established that the poem was really by Nancy Willard and had been published in 1981 in an anthology called A Visit to William Blake's Inn.
But the librarian, who works at Hitchin Boys' School, then realised how far and wide the mistake had travelled, with internet sites copying and distributing the false connection with Blake.
Dat is toch wel bijzonder, dat een gedicht van een nog levende schrijfster al een jaar of tien wordt toegeschreven aan een dichter die al 150 jaar dood is.
Zou mevrouw Willard dit de afgelopen jaren echt niet in de gaten hebben gehad?

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