Tuesday 27 December 2016

Another poem from Lars Gustafsson's last collection of poems

Draft of a religious memorandum

So God exists
if one is to believe theologians of earlier times
in a state of eternal bliss
and can therefore not be affected
by human suffering.
Now that’s a pity. Otherwise
he could have learnt something
particularly about his own activity.

It’s strange; every time
there has been an earthquake in China
the upper glass-window of the kitchen’s
antique grandfather clock swings open.

An occult phenomenon? Seismic sympathy?
Or one of those meaningless gestures
with which the world grimaces
at us,
a nasty, stupid little boy in a playground,
who has to mess with us at any price
so that we will
take notice of him.

That and nothing else.

Monday 26 December 2016

Maestro A. said - Lars Gustafsson

Maestro A. said

When you have discovered
that the organ’s deep pedal point
you sense
furthest down there
in the cellar vault of
your own existence
is not the keynote of fear
but is affinity
with every string
that vibrates –
do not attempt to make
wisdom out of this insight
For then it disappears.

Thursday 22 December 2016

Wednesday 21 December 2016

Another grey poem by Lars Gustafsson

Morning down by Hörende lake

Out of the thick mist
the trees emerge 
like a host of reproaches
‘Is grey a colour?’

Believe you me!
This greyness
begins to look like an assertion

Tuesday 20 December 2016

Snow poem by Lars Gustafsson

Lively snowfall over philosophers’ graves

A lively snowfall
falls like an ironic comment
over past philosophers’ graves
in what is practically 
a continuous winter twilight.

One of them was a kind of market-crier
the second was a sway-pole artist
the third kept a look-out on street corners
That era is over now. Here this snowfall thickens.
And these pages lack writing.

Sunday 18 December 2016

Ingemann's much-loved carol - this time in English

Fair is creation
marvellous God’s heaven,
blest the souls in their pilgrim throng.
Through realms of earthly
loveliness onward
we go to paradise with song!

Ages lie waiting,
ages quick in passing,
generations that form a throng.
Music from heaven
never falls silent
in this the soul’s glad pilgrim song

Angels first sang it
to the wond’ring shepherds,
sweet was from soul to soul its sound:
Peace and rejoicing
be to all people,
for us a saviour now is found!

Wednesday 14 December 2016

Poem from Lars Gustafsson's last collection 'Etudes'

Chromatic fantasies

And then finally,
yet again a kind of morning.
Light forces its way in
through many narrow chinks.

more and more clocks
join in and form a chorus.

From the bazaar of old tower clocks
As if cut out of sooted paper

To the light whirring, like swallows
of the very small clocks


More clocks the more the day proceeds.

Here everything now happens very quickly;
The birds stiffen in the trees.
The old wood-turning chisels that slept
beneath blankets of cobwebs
wake up, sharper now
and long to cut
 into blackened oak 

The sort of wood that has waited
a very long time under water
deep asleep in its loneliness
and only friends with the channel’s movement
that constantly imitates itself.

You great trees, you once green friends,
why do you stand so naked now?

As if cut out of sooted paper

And even this day
moves with fluttering sail
into an absent-minded twilight:
the month of November’s
harsh answer to our address:
In the trees the birds stiffen now
and become their own shadows