Thursday, 7 June 2012

Salamander Sun


Salamandersol, Pia Tafdrup's latest collection of poetry, contains one poem for each year of the poet's life. Here's a translation of the first poem.


JOY

First is joy,
  smuggled across the border
      through a narrow tunnel.
The night is over, drowned in the sea
  buried in the ground,
      thousands of years passed alone.
Smells that already existed,
  closely surround,
       horses snort in the barn.
Wake with light,
  see shadow-play on the wallpaper
       hear birds in bushes and ivy.
The  grown-ups’ voices and laughter,
  a safe landing place
       on the other side of the wall.
First is the morning garden
  in sun,
       its illumination of the heart.
Apples fall in the warm grass,
  insects rise
       up from flowers’ petal depth.
First is openness,
  that soon closes,
       faceless.
First is trust,
  that is easily swallowed
       by galactic fear.
First is  joy,
  that newborn flows
       towards the world, dreams it.
Then follows grief, then follows anger,
  then someone says:
    –  Peace be with it.
Life is death that is coming,
  but first is joy.


translated from Danish by David McDuff

1 comment:

Please try to keep comments on topic.