Sunday 28 February 2021

Klaus Høeck: 'My Heart', pp. 562-63

     god knOws if on the

quiet i Am not a sec

     ret Moravian


     just look at my po

etry collections' bio

     graphies and lifetimes


     just look at my De

votion to brorson and e

     wald and kierkeGaard


     i am bloody well

convinced that i'm a genu

     ine moravian



     as a result Of

which i visit god's Acre

     churchyard in christians


     feld to celebrate

the incorruption of the



     (i wrongly believed

the bodies stooD upright in

     their Graves) and in or


     der to eMphasise

that the spirit rules but the

     flesh brings salvation

Saturday 27 February 2021

Hans Christian Andersen: 'Det gamle Træ'


Det gamle Træ'


Det gamle Træ, o lad det staae,

Indtil det døer af Ælde;

Saamange Ting det husker paa,

Hvad kan det ikke melde.

Vi det saa fuldt med Blomster saae,

De friske Grene hælde.

Det gamle Træ, o lad det staae,

Det maa I ikke fælde!


Nu vil jeg da paa Vandring gaae,

Men det kan jeg fornemme,

Man reiser ud, for hiem at naae.

Thi bedst er det dog hjemme.

Naar Træet her har Blomster paa,

Det vil min Hjemkomst melde;

Det gamle Træ, o lad det staae,

Det maae I ikke fælde!



That ancient tree, don’t let it fall


That ancient tree, don’t let it fall

Until old age is knelling;

So many things it can recall,

What tales it could be telling.

We once did see its blossom-haul

Each branch with fruit was swelling.

That ancient tree, don’t let it fall,

You must not think of felling!


Now to be journeying I yearn

But yet the truth in part is

One does but travel to return,

For home is where one’s heart is.

When this old tree stands blossom-tall,

I’m nearly home it’s telling; 

That ancient tree, don’t let it fall,

You must not think of felling!


Klaus Høeck: 'My Heart', p. 553


     the Old Appletree

(don't let it fall and never

     perish completely)


     turns out to be a

filippa tree (courante)

     that sMells so sweetly


     as the nape of my

beloveD's neck (sarabande)

     and the last time i


     mentioned it was when

dexter Gordon died and it

     was in glorious bloom

Klaus Høeck: 'Eventyr' (1992) - poems about Dexter Gordon (pp. 260-62)


eighth improvisation

                on time

i ought to have

written a sonnet

                for dexter gordon

                in black and violet

framed with ivy

a sonnet that praised his

                low notes which sound

                as if he is blowing

over empty beer bottles and i’ll

certainly do so one fine day



but right now i’m more

                preoccupied with a small

oddity in his playing

i’m talking about the minimal

                lag behind the beat

                that is so character

istic for dexter gordon

the slight delay between

                what he plays and

                what he actually plays

the small rubato between

the seconds’ nicotine stains



that slight imprecision

                that has caused

certain people to

assume that

                dexter gordon

                couldn’t keep

up and that he would

finally find himself

                lacking a

                number of

notes when the piece

had come to an end



that of course is not

                the case – by means

of his technique dexter gordon

ends up rather playing more

                than he actually

                plays – he almost

manages to comment on his

own playing by means of

                this tiny time-lag

                to interpret not only

what he has played but

what he is playing right now



in reality it is the

                very delay

between life and art that dexter

gordon is demonstrating and

                who knows is maybe trying

                to drown out with hisT

saxophone – in reality

dexter gordon is attempting

                to hold life and art

                together in one moment

do you get me? – dexter gordon

is extending the now in extremis

To see the whole collection, go to here

Klaus Høeck: 'My Heart', p. 551


     i no longer Oc

cupy myself As much with

     that which took place in


     the past as with that

which i reMember - Dickens

     wrote and i take this


     statement into ac

count and make it mine by ad

     dinG that i occu


     py myself just as 

much with that which i have com

     pletely forgotten

Thursday 25 February 2021

Klaus Høeck, 'My Heart', p. 517

     i opened a boOk and

A powerful sMell of cloves

     wafteD out of the


     paGes - and in the

book i opened there stood: the

     master took a book


     from its box - when he

opened it there was the

     faint smell of drying 


     clove buds – now was this 

merely chance or was it planned

     by myself? (or both?)

Sunday 21 February 2021

Klaus Høeck: 'My Heart', p. 445


     i play things all ex

tremely coOl though everything's

     at stAke the whole tiMe


     and DurinG the few 

moments (very few) that mean

     nothing at all i


     am bushy tailed and

raring to go - which is a

     bit strange in a way


     but the converse on

the other hand would be quite


Friday 19 February 2021

M. Vasalis: 'In de oudste lagen van mijn ziel'


In de oudste lagen van mijn ziel, 

waar hij van stenen is gemaakt, 

bloeit als een gaaf, ontkleurd fossiel 

de stenen bloem van uw gelaat.

Ik kan mij niet van u bevrijden, 

er bloeit niets in mijn steen dan gij. 

De oude weelden zijn voorbij 

maar niets kan mij meer van u scheiden.


In the oldest layers of my soul,

where it is made of solid stone,

there as a fossil fine and pale

the stone-flower of your face has grown.

There's no escape, I see that plainly,

sole bloom inside my stone you're cast.

The opulence of old is past –

to part us though all would seek vainly.

Thursday 18 February 2021

Klaus Høeck 'My Heart', p. 376

     the next day on the

other hand luck is with me

     i hit a hole in one


     shot (no no i'm not

in the process of playing

     golf) this is just a


     nother way of say

ing it: that i got a bull's

     eye which in turn is


     just another way

of saying it: that i found

     the poem's password


Ivan Malinowski (1926-89): 'Rain'



A landscape alive with invisible lines

A cloud obscures your afternoon


Who is moving out there? Who is it smiling

In an alien realm of sloe and silver?


Behind the sky's great sail-sheets the same light

And you know what that signifies


This heart-throbbing that is carried to you

Over expanses heavy with salt, it is the boats


The ray from the eaves finds its curve

The apple fleshes out its form in the rain, calmly


You are all that is missing

Insubvertible images, imperturbable repetitions


Forget it: now it grows lighter

And this scent of clover


The larks are rising like stones

The lovers have reached the sea.

Klaus Høeck: 'MY HEART', p. 354



     (luke XI, 24) the un

clean spirit may well have been

     seared with a zippO


     lighter And the heart

swept and adorned (the achy

     breaky heart) but what


     about the seven

poeMs of self-righteousness



     what about holi

er-than-thouness (of all kinDs)

     and its kinGdom come?

Sunday 14 February 2021

Stack Staffeldt (1769-1826): 'Det Eene'


The One


All that is beautiful dies, that the spirit shall gain no contentment

              In its debased human state: longings shall thus here below

Man’s bosom forever consume, like the lamp in a dark night-time dungeon,

              Which, at the dread dead of night, a mark on the light of the sky.

Man! it is not what you own, but what you long for and crave for,

              This is your treasure most dear, this is your value most high,

The glorious you can but own by suffering great deprivation:

              Man’s fall is very precise, longing its heavenmost flight.

All that it beautiful dies, the world of the symbols knows change,

              And in different signs the One expresses itself.

Delve into all the world’s annals: there centuries lie in succession,

              Like strata washed up on the shore, deposit and trace of the spirit.

The globe is a ruin itself, and, like mould growth on crumbling walls,

              Out of the granite’s great rifts sprouts what will later be spring.

No single thing can stand firm through the rise and the fall of the ages,

              No single thing ever was, is and will be as before:

It is eternal life which, like blood from the heart, courses

              Through all of nature, flowing outwards and later returning;

So too the soul shows itself, its mien always changing

              Its features uncountable, constantly one and the same.

Therefore there only exists that where the One does reside,

              Only the idea, as shield, wards off what passes away.

In your life’s great work of art you therefore present the idea,

              Attune yourself to your own nature, that nature eternal as God,

Otherwise you will be lost, like bubbles that burst on the sea:

              The sea still remains but where is the bubble, its bright-coloured child?

Should the idea though transfuse your profound and significant life,

              You are immortal – in God as God is in you.

Exceptional natures withdraw now their summit from time,

              Like mountain peaks, visible far o’er the flood’s mirror surface.

Otherwise was it of old, otherwise will it be later,

              The future another repeat of time that is past.

Yes! there once was an age when nature childlike did express

              With imprint most faithful the eternal traits of the father, 

When it had not as yet, like ripening fruit, left the bough

              And in its bold fall become free though ephemeral.

Still behind the eclipse of the past the golden sphere rolls,

              Poetry it still retains in its rhythmical bands;

Thither do all longings swarm, like castaways, who from the rock,

              Naked, in direst distress, see far off the bay that they crave.

Was is the plaintive myth, shall be the joyous prediction,

              Myth and religion, fond memory and much desired hope,

Poles of time constantly seeking each other in vain,

              Until they melt into One, there where time is no more. –

Self-seeking Present, whose roothold is only the moment,

              World-life for you stands in its winter solstice;

Necessity you do defy and flaunt freedom’s sceptre?

              Free in defection are you, your freedom the choice of a yoke.

Know then that selfdom is raging rebellion in nature,

              And sin that is monstrous freedom’s gargantuan child;

Selfdom the son’s great revolt against what life has granted,

              Nor does the death of the son atone for the crime –

So may you perish, nature, like fever’s groundless delusion,

              And cured from you, slowly, with passage of time,

May the life now engendered strive for the world’s blessed heart,

              And in unity’s lap, sonnet, may consciousness die.


Friday 12 February 2021

Klaus Høeck: MY HEART, p. 110



     i saw pegasus

in my sleep and it had nei

     ther wings nOr hooves of


     emerAld and white

it definitely was not

     rather a sort of


     dun-brown and steaMing

in the winter colD and when

     I said pruuh to it


     it answered by say

inG: oh belt up – just like a

     ny other dream horse

Marie Dauguet: 'Le parfum des tilleuls'

Le parfum des tilleuls


Aux portes de la ferme où se taisent les dogues,

Sur le jardin, l’étable et le vieux puits dormant,

Le parfum des tilleuls s’étale obscurément;

De l’été survenant, c’est le divin prologue.


Le parfum des tilleuls en la nuit blonde vogue

Et pénètre les cœurs d’un tendre enchantement.

Dans le soir tiède et doux comme des bras d’amant,

Les chalumeaux du vent ont des langueurs d’églogue.


Tout s’émeut. On entend l'horizon haleter,

La terre sensuelle et lourde palpiter,

Que l'émoi des pollens féconds enthousiasme. 


Ma lèvre est appuyée à la lèvre des dieux,

Tant s’épanche, invincible, envahissant les cieux,

Une odeur de baisers, d’étreintes et de spasme.



The scent of lindens


At doorways of the farm, where mastiffs silent lie,

Over the garden, stable, old well fast asleep,

The scent of lindens vaguely spreads and seeks to creep;

Prologue divine of summer that will soon be nigh.


The scent of lindens and pale night now gently drift

And penetrate all hearts with mild enchanting charms.

In the warm gentle evening, as in a lover’s arms,

The wind-caught torches yearn with longing young and swift.


All is astir. One hears the skyline’s heaving girth,

The palpitating, sensual and heavy earth

Which potent pollens goad to mounting ecstacy.


My lips to lips of gods I firmly now apply,

So much pours out, invincible, invades the sky,

A reek of kisses, clasps and spasms smothers me.