Thursday 20 January 2022

Benny Andersen: 'Hor og kærlighed'


fornication and love


To play on a lousy

neglected and misused instrument

is like going to bed with someone

                you do not love

neither the piano nor yourself

feel anything at all except the urge

to get it over with quickly

You shut your eyes and think of

Steinway & Son

or Hornung & Møller

you’re seized with self-pity

and pity for the poor wretch

and the music sounds accordingly:




until you suddenly find a sound

a humming strength

a 10th of former days

that has miraculously survived all infamy

                                 and rape

an upright melancholy

like a partially burnt field of stubble

You open your eyes

stare with unaccustomed tenderness

at the worm-eaten yellow keys

everything is closer now

imprisoned and forgotten notes

                are set free

How wonderful it can be to be alive

To hell with Steinway & Møller

Now it’s just the two of us

for this short eternity!



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