obituary: William Auld, Esperanto poet

September 23, 2006

“William Auld, who died on September 11 aged 81, was a Scottish poet and writer, and the first person to be nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature for work in Esperanto.” (Hmm probably as much hope as Tony Blair does of knocking off the prize for peace).
“At the Gorbals public library, the young Auld spotted a book on the library shelf written in Esperanto, read it and was hooked. ‘I liked the egalitarian nature of the language,’ he explained, ‘the brotherhood-of-man aspect.’ When writing, Auld considered Esperanto to be his first language and rated it an ideal medium for poetry. ‘Many of the words end in ‘o’ and the lyrical qualities are especially suited to verse,’ he once explained to The Daily Telegraph.”

Here’s an example (courtesy of Wikipedia). I imagine it’s quite hard to write a poem in Esperanto that doesn’t rhyme:

Septembra mateno

de William AULD

aperis en Nica Literatura Revuo, 4/1, p. 7


Kartonajn siluetojn de uzinoj
ĉe l’ horizonto iluminas suno.
Ĉi aŭtobuso glisas tra l’ scenejo
kun plena ŝarĝ’ de plusrolantoj fuŝaj.
Leviĝas la kurteno. Sur fotelo,
cinika karapaca kritikisto –
Dio — la manojn plektas sur la sino
kaj lace atendadas la kutimajn
replikojn netrafitajn, troajn gestojn,
parolojn forgesatajn, de ĉi trupo,
kiu sensuke ludis jam milfoje
gurditan dramon de verkisto Dio.
Diablo! — (ĝemas Dio sur fotelo) –
kia rimedo perlabori panon:
ĉeesti tiajn aĉajn komediojn!
Kaj dum la teatraĵo disvolviĝas,
Li forŝteliras al tavern’ apuda.
He also translated many works from English into Esperanto, including La komedio de eraroj (Shakespeare), La kunularo de l’ ringo (Tolkien) Fenikso tro ofta (Fry)Auld also wrote an erotic poem called Anna, part of which goes like this:

kaj lulus mian kapon milde
sur sia varmodora nudo,
kaj vartus dum momentoj ŝilde
min de l’ turmenta vivokrudo.

Sed post miraklo de orgasmo –
mi bone scias – venus re la
eĉ pli profunda kormarasmo.
Ne solvas splenon fulmo de la

Never having learnt Esperanto I’ve no idea what this means but it certainly sounds as if a jolly good time was had by all.

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