Monday 29 February 2016

Anneke Brassinga - Colossus


So as to write like none other you must first
read all that has ever been written, know all
that has been thought and said since Adam. Only then

is there a chance to add something incomparable.
Set to, you surely can: be humble enough
to spare yourself not one iota of what’s

gone before, from alpha on. When once the reading’s done
you’ll be cubits taller and more ruthless
than yourself – inimitable shadow that flashingly

flings itself at what remains still to be said.

To see the original poem, go to here

Saturday 27 February 2016

A typically cosmos-chaos poem from Menno Wigman


There comes a woman, one that’s tall and slim.
She speaks the language. Then a bed. Just right.
She fits just right. Still often needs repeating.
So often that she owns your daily bed,
and you the diary that’s inside her head.

There comes a white-coat with a rorschach test.
Who I might be. What I see in the blot.
What does that smartarse know of dirty tricks?
When I was made I wasn’t even there.

(It was a woman, one that’s tall and slim.
Nervous. Hung up. And idler than a rose.
She spoke with mud. She had to leave my life.)

I read the murder cases in the press.
I had a will. Read blots. Weigh up my skin.

Friday 26 February 2016

Per Højholt - 'Så og så mange lærker'

Such-and-such a number of larks

383 larks have arrived 384
the tops of the birch trees are seething (385) like balloons actually balloons
       you inflate gas deposits on stalks curtseying like birch trees yes completely like
       birch trees that are seething
388 larks have arrived and are singing above mole-hills 389
winter’s sleep-paths are being uncovered winter’s sleep-paths lie uncovered
       and full of water the sun strikes them
a morris drives up over the hill and down again and rumbles up along the sunken road and
      approaches splashingly past the pine trees
the postman’s morris comes into sight beneath 390 larks.

Tove Ditlevsen - 'Ægteskab'


In re-remembered passion,
roused by a reminder of other embraces,
a distant contact with a cool skin,
the dreaming profile of an unknown woman
against the city’s neon lights –
or perhaps:
at the sight of a young soldier in the train
with bright eyes, in whose calm he saw
a quite simple mind reflect his own
and fling it back undigested,
with all its mysterious maturity –
his senses turn searchingly towards me,
veiled by a dark urge to deceive.
And I, who completely inhabit this house,
fertilise the dust with a frail thought
of own life, and daily kneel,
lost in vague prayers, at the yellow-enamelled
and silent fidelity of a bucket –
covertly consider his secret face,
suddenly naked, almost defenceless
as when nature reconquers deserted gardens:
just a glimpse of an irascible tenderness,
stunted, secretly extorted a legal
death of love for no obvious reason.
I see it go away, and recall other caresses
of nameless sweetness, possibly his once,
but never more arousing my desire
in other than the memory, never more.
Without words we deny, vindictively, alone,
each other’s capacity to rouse sensual desire.

Klaus Rifbjerg - Refshaleøen

Refshale island

The past seeks its survival
behind rows of houses, Christianshavn
Amager and a childhood can be seen
seaweed-coloured, headache-burst between wharfs.

The memory is aware of flying machines
the sense of colour black red
but the sea-sickness of unexperienced time
can hardly be eliminated.

Approach of punctured ships
tumour-possessed submarines
other surviving phenomena of exhaustedness
even the absurdity of the passage.

The usual flapping
interval silence in the water
an incontestable knowledge of people round the corner
the sentry about-turns.

Films never experienced and the future
experienced as a film
in the outside sector the feeling
of the stasis of time’s pendulum.

The echo of rivets is harsh on Sundays
suddenly one prays for the fin-possessed
greenness of muddy existences to announce itself
so we can get it all over.

Dock, crane, topmark buoys, putrescence
age itself nauseous
but the happiness of consciousness a turbo machine
before time, wing-flight and rejoicing pain.

The dates all one and immaterial
but the meeting in constancy:
the enormous windmill sails’ separating
underscoring of confrontation.