Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Hans Christian Andersen and 'The Leapers'

Gulliver's voyage to Lilliput serves mainly to satirise the British system of selecting rulers and their general lack of democracy. In Lilliput an important office is usually filled by the applicant who can jump the highest and decorations are awarded to the best leaper and creeper.

The Swedish writer Gunnar Harding - poem from 'Guillaume Apollinaire's fantastic life'

Hans Christian Andersen and the joys of travelling

Monday, 2 January 2017

'Unwilling-willing blind' - a sonnet by Dèr Mouw

Unwilling-willing blind to world’s bright dance,
through wildwoods of ideas I grub-like crept:
through reeking, murky reaches no wind swept
no beauty pierced, askew, with sun-forged lance;

full-coloured French and German’s stringy plants
with fibres filled my caterpillar maw;
daunted and tempted, I set out to gnaw:
Baumgarten, Fichte, Strauss and Rosenkranz.

My autumn stormed upon me; and I spun
a thick cocoon from endless, drab distress
to shut the world out. Silently and long

I waited. Till I left the chrysalis
and flit through nature now and my own song:
Your yellow swallowtail, Oh Brahman’s Sun!

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Another poem from Lars Gustafsson's last collection of poems

Draft of a religious memorandum

So God exists
if one is to believe theologians of earlier times
in a state of eternal bliss
and can therefore not be affected
by human suffering.
Now that’s a pity. Otherwise
he could have learnt something
particularly about his own activity.

It’s strange; every time
there has been an earthquake in China
the upper glass-window of the kitchen’s
antique grandfather clock swings open.

An occult phenomenon? Seismic sympathy?
Or one of those meaningless gestures
with which the world grimaces
at us,
a nasty, stupid little boy in a playground,
who has to mess with us at any price
so that we will
take notice of him.

That and nothing else.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Maestro A. said - Lars Gustafsson

Maestro A. said

When you have discovered
that the organ’s deep pedal point
you sense
furthest down there
in the cellar vault of
your own existence
is not the keynote of fear
but is affinity
with every string
that vibrates –
do not attempt to make
wisdom out of this insight
For then it disappears.

Thursday, 22 December 2016