Friday, 15 May 2009

Pia Tafdrup: Over the Water I Walk - 6


The birth of the poem is not only determined by expressive impulses, but also consists of contemplative states. Emily Dickinson encapsulated this type of inspiration in the following image:

On my volcano grows the Grass
A meditative spot


Strictness and wildness are irreconcilable dimensions that must be reconciled in the process of writing.


The precondition for writing poems is to be able to rise, let the dream move one's body. My best writing times have always been accompanied by dreams of flying, in countless variations. I can stay in the air for ages, and can travel in this foreign element without any trouble at all.


Writing is a longing for the present, a longing to be allowed to exist. It is about being captured, daring to devote oneself to opposites. Pleasure and pain mingle together, and there is no more damming-up of the words that flow out ineluctably. Writing poems is above all being in the present tense, while also simultaneously being aware of other times and tenses.


At times when the moon and the stars are especially favourable, everything points to what is being written. The work on a book is not very different from falling in love. I am sensitive and receptive in a new way. Things that are apparently indifferent can't avoid having significance asctibed to them, and coincidences arise between the strangest phenomena. Words are - at least temporarily - in chaos. What before were chance events now become signs.

translated from Danish by David McDuff

Over the Water I Walk-1
Over the Water I Walk-2
Over the Water I Walk-3
Over the Water I Walk-4
Over the Water I Walk-5

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