Monday, 4 November 2019

The opening poem of Lennart Sjögren's 'I grenverket'

The icicle

I am the icicle
and resemble a god in the sense
that a thousand years to me are as a day
and a day to me a thousand years
I gleam in a way nothing else can gleam

I carry on where roofs and what protects end
am pointed downwards
into a different time and in different way of reckoning
am turned upwards
like a dagger I rip with my tip
through the cosmos

I am a live skin of crystalline glass
my insides shake
when I crash down and gain my greatest triumph
then I resemble humans and I know
that the border between life and death
is a random notion

I belong to the elements
I transform myself, I crash down in spring
transform myself again, become meltwater
transform myself again, become autumn rain
I transform myself again to ice
when travelling through the realm of the cold

In crashing I turn into myriads of stars
then I do not count seconds or millennia
I am the sovereign
in falling I break into two, three pieces or more
and when completely crushed against the ground
I arise in the splintering no one has time to count
in a raised foam of silver, iron, copper
in an outward-hurling movement
I then rise up like a small upturned waterfall

Just as you are the one you are
I am the one I am

I was born in the collision between cold and heat
but in actual fact I was not born at all
I have always been and always shall be

I belong to the cyclical
I show myself and cause amazement
children especially show their delight
I succumb, disappear and become
a moment of chagrin in those who believed
I would always continue to exist for their sake

Look at me one more time
when I rise up in the splintering
when I become a star-fall and disappear
return again.

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