Tuesday, 11 January 2011

A poem from 'A Time in Xanadu' by the Swedish poet Lars Gustafsson


When the soft darkness of August
suddenly closed in
it was as if the lake down there
quickened its pulse, breathed otherwise
unknown animals peered perhaps out of
their holes in the bank.
And the kerosene lamp was lit.
It was like a small lighthouse
in various ledges of glass and porcelain
and the hot stream of heated air
must be kept away from the curtain.
Very careful about that,
never place the lamp under the curtain.
It produced, strictly speaking, a great deal of heat
(the difference could clearly be felt in the room)
and not much light. And around this lamp flew
an angry small steel-blue insect
the philosopher Fichte had somehow
extracted himself from the thick brown book
on the table,
where he presumably lived.
Circled until the flame took him.
But then the evening was over.

To see the original poem and hear the poet read it, go to here

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