Monday, 2 July 2012

A poem by the Danish writer
Klaus Rifbjerg


I’m the one who’s painted
the pictures at the Skagen museum.

I said to myself
that is your life and then
I began to paint.

I think it all started with the lunch picture
I got so hungry
felt quite at home.

I painted Krøyer and Drachmann
Tuxen, Ancher – her and him
and all the others
right down to Tørsleff.

It was a colossal undertaking
but I was feeling fine
so that didn’t matter.

Drachmann helped me a bit
and Krøyer
we talked a lot
and drank just a little.

We looked at Skagen
painted lots of pictures
brought out the light
but most perhaps a way of life
our own
the one I fell for.

I remember the hours
with Krøyer’s wife
beneath the elders at Drachmann’s,
the burgundy in those heavy glasses
and everything seen
in summer images
as if it was all long over.

I remember the evenings at the Prong
the waters that met
and the trouble getting the colours
to toe the line
after all I was the one who was going
to paint everything
wanted to paint everything
before it was no longer there.

There was a scent of death
idyll and linen drawers with lavender
about my Skagen canvases,
but there was plenty of life
back then
there was that.
We got up from the table
after the long drawn-out lunch
and the voices had become more subdued.
We stood in the twilight
before going home our separate ways
but it was hard to take our leave.

Then Anna Ancher turned round
and said:
We’re going to sleep now.
She took her husband’s arm,
went with him through the gate
and slowly everyone followed suit.
The steps died away between
the houses
the host put out his lamp
it was too late to do any more painting.

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