in English

Newfound

Two small poems from my book Mellem stationerne  [Between stations] (2000) have traveled all the way to Austin, Texas. They appear in the latest issue of the journal Newfound – translated by the great, bilingual author Karen Havelin.

“Untitled” (After Gertrude and Alice)

My poem “Untitled” (After Gertrude and Alice), from 2008, is in the December issue of Nashville Review, in both Danish and English – beautifully translated by Karen Havelin.

Three Poems i M-DASH

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The American magazine for translation M-DASH is publishing three of my poems in their Issue 9: summer 2016, beautifully translated by author and translator Karen Havelin.

Two of the poems are from the collections Mellem stationerne and Ofte stillede spørgsmål – the last one until now unpublished.

It is a journey …

It is a journey I have never undertaken.
We saw just the landscapes from the air and landed,
stood at the railway station and struggled through the crowd,
slept in hotel rooms, when we finally found our way.
At most in a crack we faced single attractions,
armed with a camera and banknotes.
Lost our way in a hurry with a goal-oriented eye through the market,
drove restlessly through the mountains with the windows closed up,
looked hardly up, breathed only moderately.

Now I am applying for entry at night.
Request pictures, but am held back.
Wait for a favorable moment, for an open sesame.

There are mud walls and gates and blocked in streets.
There are scorched fields, shrunken oases,
the course of a river traced only with simple growths
and water you must imagine yourself –
a stony desert running into a sandy desert.
A rare juiciness in the shape of pomegranates’
bitter-sweet seeds, and only one by one,
while fingers and face get sticky,
the mirages of villages in the dust.
A flickering film above the ground,
A quiver somewhere in the shadow
in a lonesomeness swarming with ghosts:
Humans, trickling out of the drought.
Faces against the face, hands in around the body.

Step by step I seek in to a forest
of graying trunks with heavy leaves of plastic.
A rain poor of drops tries to reconcile.
Then I meet yet another wall.

It is an oven in the shape of a house
with black smoke out through the roof
and a suffocating smell of oxygen deficiency and soot.
The house has no doors.

It is a city, I visited blinded.
A fruit of soil I have held, but never bitten into.
A door, the wind managed to slam behind me,
until I get to turn around.
Now there is no way.

 

Mellem stationerne (Between Stations), 2000

Translated by Susanne Jorn for Danish Literary Magazine, Spring 2001