Friday, 13 November 2009

The Swedish poet Lennart Sjögren

A fox with mange

You who believe in a happy world
take time to linger for a while
with the fox – one afflicted by mange.

You will see how it squirms like a snake
biting its own flesh
you will see one large wound where before
there was a body.

And the mange mite’s eggs open
and rejoice for a while in their new awakening
as do all living things
they have their fine lair in the raging wound.

The question is
how are we ever to follow the fox’s journey
to its slow and ripped-up death
our faces turning to wood.

Long before the Spanish boot of medieval times
animals died like this
and they will die like this
and people will die like this
and their death will be saturated in torment.

Best fare the smiling and those blind of soul
worst the fox in its protracted death
and worst of all
the mange that dies for lack of fox.

 For information about the 'Spanish boot', go to here.

For a translation of a wonderful long poem by Sjögren, 'The Bird-hunters' go to here.


Unknown said...

Just wonderng - where did you find the English translation of Sjögren´s The Bird-Hunters?


John Irons said...

i didn't find it, i made it - in march 2008.