Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Another sonnet from the collection 'mannen utan väg' by the Swedish poet Erik Lindegren


the faithful bee hums for the shrivelled rose
the rabid dog drinks from the sunken storm’s throat

and the flying dutchman hauls his bride on board
so as to bury himself in her fury-cut hair

at the lists the lance of the black knight grows
and in the air the tragic mask of the charwoman glitters

in the dandelion pasture even the catchfly’s tar-bubbles burst
and the butterflies’ blinkers now say their final prayer

in the skies desert-singed clouds stack from verandahs
and the pulse’s tambourine makes the virginia creeper tremble

a taboo summer squirms uneasily on crystal-clear noes
the jaws of the tiger lily sink softly into the past

from the trailer of time hurrahs are flung out at death
dully garrisons rest beneath the rain’s silent leaps

1 comment:

John Irons said...

the 'poisoned paradise' theme is given an extra twist here! note that dandelion = lion's teeth, cf. tiger lily's jaws later down. and the swedish original in line 7 says 'tjärans bubblor' = the tar's bubbles, but i am pretty sure that he is (also) thinking of the sticky catchfly (swedish: tjärblomster = tar-flower), since they often grow in the same patch of ground.