Monday 28 February 2011

Poem by the Swedish writer Lennart Sjögren


How sharp your teeth are: Pike-head
though the sun’s fried you to the wall
and though winter’s flayed your skin
and though this is already your third year hanging there.

Others have their Progress
others have their Sergeant.
I have you.

There is nothing in your head
that tends towards the friendly.
Even so I wish to count you
one of my closer friends
and possible to talk the language of muteness to.

You definitely do not belong among the demons
nor among the apocalyptics.
You are what you are
what you are is you.

Nor do I wish to include myself
among animal devotees
just because I keep your company.
I do not worship you, even though you belong to
the circle of consolation.

Your path went directly from the watery depths
to the air that is man’s but not yours.
Nor did you seek for mercy
not in my eyes nor those of others.

And what you said in silence when hauled up
I do not know.
Eyes you no longer have, scarcely skin
but your teeth
that slowly eat their way through the sun’s heat
you still bare at me.

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