Tuesday, 27 April 2010

The words travel

by Pia Tafdrup

I live in another country, but still
don’t leave my home.
The alphabet I take with me
and the structures of the grammar
the meanings of the words and their emphases.
  No matter where on the globe
I settle down
I live in the language
I was born into.
No storm of other languages
capsizes mine.
I am I
        in my own language –
dreaming in what chance
made my mother tongue.
I write at home,
              write abroad,
everywhere the same:
The words have hearts of migrating birds,
dissection shows
  they want to reach someone,
  and I live with these
bird-words, their singing and hoarse cries.

from Trækfuglens kompas (Birds of Passage), Gyldendal 2010

translated from Danish by David McDuff

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