Saturday 22 December 2018

Lars Gustafsson: The living and the dead

The living and the dead

The ice-ferns on the window pane
The crystals that grow in caustic soda

‘blindly’ and in recognisable shapes.
Strindberg saw a draft of life

and the longing of dead things
to become living.

The cuddly animal that the child carries with it everywhere
and warms in its bed until it acquires a name

and the whole family talks about it
as one does about a real person.

The tin soldiers with their stiff unhappy faces.
The Moorish trumpeter who sits

high up in the wonderful organ in Oliva
and at a particular moment raises his trumpet

and blows to three points of the compass. He is Moorish.
All of that which imitates life fails

and does not deceive us.

But hovering around these things: crystals,
toys, trumpeters

is an expression of sorrow, of melancholy.
And that is no imitation.                                                   

We sense it at once.
And are reminded of ourselves.

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