Monday 6 July 2020

Benny Andersen: Kierkegaard på cykel'

Less philosophical, but highly amusing are poems by the  Friesian poet Anne Feddema. He wrote poems about famous figures in history in adbsurd situations, including one about ugly old Liszt riding over his own old face on his chromatic bicycle. You don't have to know Friesian to see this is a poem you would love to hear read out loud!

Grimelgrammeltsje Kûperoaze
De âlde Liszt fytst
Op syn gromatyske âld fyts/
Oer syn eigen âlde Lisztantlit

Kierkegaard on a bicycle

Some things got lost over time
a lot was scarcely worth remembering
but I remember as if only yesterday
although it’s more than a week ago
Søren Kierkegaard coming on a bicycle
wait a moment it must be about
150 years ago
and I hadn’t even been born then
but never mind
he comes bicycling down Hjortekær Road
and I’m on my way up
so we got off and had a little chat
now someone’s sure to object
that the bicycle hadn’t been invented then
but such things don’t faze great minds
and he could be a bit absent-minded at times

Slightly out of breath he set to work illustrating
what he meant by the term repetition
which he spelt with a capital, i.e. Repetition:
The constantly repeated use of the pedals
caused the wheels to turn round
it was so to speak repetition
that made the wheels go round
and increased the desire to see new places
or to revive well-known places
But the most brilliant thing about the bicycle was
that you could do both at the same time
you sat in the same place
and with the aid of repetition could
move this place with you
in that way you could cycle from inner Copenhagen
all the way out to Hjortekær and Dyrehaven
and experience lots of marvellous places en route
without budging from the place where you were
Yes and that was long before there was TV
Then he nipped off again on his bicycle
I’ve never seen him since 
and not at all before
possibly never
but I remember that about repetition
and you can say a lot about Kierkegaard
but the man damned well knew what he was talking about

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