Tuesday 31 May 2016

A poem by the Swedish poet Sophia Elisabet Brenner (1659-1730)

The unfeigned tears
of the female sex

Shed over
The late NOBLE and WELL-BORN/
Mistress MARJA Hiärne/

Who in her very prime/was wrested from this life
by temporal Death/ on 11 December Anno 1690.

                                 Death who had made up his mind
                                 For his silent haunt to capture/
                                 What his endless night unkind
                                 Might provide with some small rapture/
                                 Sought with care where for the telling
                                 Some fair beauty might be dwelling.
                                 Long he stood with hope forlorn/
                                 That he ever would discover
                                 Human flesh so pure in form/
                                 It could fully triumph over/
                                 All that’s dreary dark down-hearted
                                 In the realm of those departed.
                                 But he finally could see/
                                 For his plot success awaiting/
                                 When austere Fate’s sisters three
                                 Helped him now in extricating/
                                 What for earthly joy and pleasure
                                 Heaven/had composed at leisure.
                                 Even nature/ grieves you too/
                                 Mourns her beauty’s template’s passing/
                                 As your sex does which through you/
                                 Prized its beauty all-surpassing.                
                                 Misses/ mourns laments unceasing/
                                 What but once could be so pleasing.

                                 Some / your outward loveliness
                                 Feel is an unrivalled treasure/
                                 Others / who your conduct stress
                                 Testify in what full measure/
                                 Inner qualities exceeded
                                 And your fairness yet preceded.

                                 Were you fashioned so divine
                                 Fair one / with the sole intention?
                                 Grave / earth dust you should outshine/
                                 Make with paradise contention
                                 Will death gain then from your beauty?
                                 And acquire so great a booty.

                                 Thus the lesser sex allow
                                 Unrestrained to gain a hearing/
                                 One at last yet did avow
                                 They should end such mindless fearing/
                                 And with reasons most well-suited/
                                 Their opinion now refuted

                                 She said Sisters it’s well-known
                                 But the smallest part earth’s gaining/
                                 Once that heaven’s had its own/
                                 This account ne’er be disdaining/
                                 Know that Death can but be claiming
                                 Dust and what is not worth naming.

Monday 30 May 2016

Another poem from 'Ontsnappingen'


Earlier Rina slept on the street
never washed herself. But now she has new knees
with which she can easily walk round the corner

and back, so she’s able to post
her letters herself
and if she get post, herself pick it up from the mat.

If you sleep on the street you never get post, which is why
she lives in a house once again. Because of the letters
that begin with ‘Dearest’, the only ones that count

and that you must take away yourself, pick up, slit
open with clean shaky fingers,
with your back against the door,


Sunday 29 May 2016

Poem from Eva Gerlach's new collection 'Ontsnappingen'

no thing
In the cellar I held my little sister on my lap. She’d just
turned four. I placed my hands over her ears
so she would not hear the loud banging
but she felt it and she saw the others crying,
she screamed her head off. Then I repeatedly took
my hands from her ears to hit her
so she should have something to cry about
someone to be angry with. When we emerged
and everything was ruins with arms and legs everywhere
she didn’t cry and said nothing and hid herself beneath the pot
that an apple tree grew in there she sat on her own
a day and a night then the men came then it got
so that things no longer knew us. No thing.
That’s how it went, that’s why we ran off. She’d just
turned four, my little sister, when it began, whenever.

Wednesday 25 May 2016

Nine collections of Klaus Høeck in English translation!

The Danish Royal Library website with nine complete collections of poetry by Klaus Høeck is now up and running again here:

Monday 23 May 2016

Ah yes, recognise this? A Høeck poem from 'Legacy'

       WHAT the bleeding hell
is the name of the man? – can
       tarello or is

       it parabellum
musarelli maybe? – or
       scarletto? what the

       hell is it with all
those italian instruct
       ors? – scorsese i

       exclaim to a be
wildered man in the co-op
       ah – that’s what IT was