Alphabet by Inger Christensen

By Inger Christensen

Offered the American-Scandinavian PEN Translation Prize by way of Michael Hamburger, Susanna Nied's translation of alphabet introduces Inger Christensen's poetry to US readers for the 1st time. Born in 1935, Inger Christensen is Denmark's most sensible recognized poet. Her award-winning alphabet is predicated structurally on Fibonacci's series (a mathematical series during which each one quantity is the sum of the 2 past numbers), together with the alphabet. the attractive poetry herein displays a fancy philosophical historical past, but has a visionary caliber, getting to know the metaphysical within the easy stuff of daily life. In alphabet, Christensen creates a framework of psalm-like kinds that spread like increasing universes, whereas crystallizing either the wonder and the opportunity of destruction that permeate our occasions.

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Sample text

And yet Manuelita you must know if you can: I did not think, I did not think of you: I never thought of you. At night in the deserted square, when wandering clouds coursed toward strange constellations, under the sad electric light I felt my infinite solitude. The grassland rose like a silvery sea in the background, and flotsam of that sea, wretched fierce men, unknown men locked in their sullen will, bloody stories soon forgotten suddenly living in the night again, weaving around me the history of the young fierce city, implacable conqueror, burning with the acrid fever of money and instant pleasures.

Master of a 27 18419-Perricone_Poets 10/17/13 11:34 AM Page 28 remarkable rhythmic ability, Bufano made use of all the lyrical devices of Spanish poetry, in particular the couplet. ”2 28 Argentina 18419-Perricone_Poets 10/17/13 11:34 AM Page 29 18419-Perricone_Poets 10/17/13 11:34 AM Page 30 Égloga da El viajero indeciso En estos melancólicos crepúsculos, cuando la soledad, hecha un anillo de suave cielo azul, me envuelve el alma, pláceme hablar con estas gentes recias de violento perfil y ojos serenos, claros a fuerza de mirar las nubes, dolor y gloria de sus vidas rústicas.

The grassland rose like a silvery sea in the background, and flotsam of that sea, wretched fierce men, unknown men locked in their sullen will, bloody stories soon forgotten suddenly living in the night again, weaving around me the history of the young fierce city, implacable conqueror, burning with the acrid fever of money and instant pleasures. I would lose you then Manuelita, forgive me, among the throng of supple young ladies with soft faces unconsciously fierce, violently exciting between the two bands of smooth hair in the immobility of the goddesses of the race.

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