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Showing posts from July, 2006

The best intentions

Olav H. Hauge

A Poem Every Day

I want to write a poem every day,
every day.
That should be easy enough.
Browning kept at it, though
he rhymed and
counted beats
with bushy eyebrows.
So, a poem every day.
Something strikes you,
something happens,
something catches your notice.
– I get up. It’s light now.
I’ve the best intentions.
And see the bullfinch rising from the cherry tree,
where he’s stealing my buds.

translated from the Norwegian by Robin Fulton

from Olav H. Hauge, Leaf-Huts and Snow-Houses, Translated by Robin Fulton, Anvil, 2003.

Four of the best

Bloodaxe has recently started publishing a new series of slim anthologies, each of which features generous selections from four poets. Bloodaxe Poetry Introductions 2, published in June, brings together four major European poets: Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Miroslav Holub, Marin Sorescu and Tomas Tranströrmer. Each selection is prefaced by introductory materials – essays, interviews, profiles and commentaries by the poets. Below, as a sampler, is one poem from each of the selections.

Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Optimistic Little Poem

Now and then it happens
that somebody shouts for help
and somebody else jumps in at once
and absolutely gratis.

Here in the thick of the grossest capitalism
round the corner comes the shining fire brigade
and extinguishes, or suddenly
there’s silver in the beggar’s hat.

Mornings the streets are full
of people hurrying here and there without
daggers in their hands, quite equably
after milk or radishes.

As though in a time of deepest peace.

A splendid sight.