Ensamtal / Lonespeech

Ann Jäderlund

Translated from Swedish by Johannes Göransson

Along the river
there are
and mountains that
wolf beans
every seed in
the sack
crowded against
you could do that

Stand so that the wind
blows on you from the kitchen
the kitchen is a chamber
that goes on the head
in the air you are
made of air

I have
stabbed to
the brains

The sun lets its light out
over the window
which does not exist
its light
which does not exist
it was another light
and now it is also
something else

All have lack
lack in their eyes
contorted river mountain
at home the words are
at home

Ann Jäderlund (b 1955) has been one of the leading Swedish poets over the past 30 years, going back to her groundbreaking second book, Which Once Had Been Meadow (1988). Since then she has published books of poetry, children’s books and works in translation, most notably Gång på gång är skogarna rosa (a selection of Emily Dickinson’s poems). The poems in this issue are from Ensamtal (Lonespeech), a writing-through of the correspondence between the poets Paul Celan and Ingeborg Bachmann.