Thursday, November 5, 2015

It is clear that . . .

     "If I stand"     by Inger Christensen  (Denmark, 1935-2009)

               If I stand
               alone in the snow
               it is clear
               that I am a clock

               how else would eternity
               find its way around                
Translated from the Danish by Susannah Nied

     It has sometimes been observed that when a teacher or lecturer says "it is clear that . . ." the words are a clue that what has been asserted is very difficult to argue for or explain.  And so I was drawn to that phrase in this poem by Christensen -- found in the May 2009 issue of POETRY ;  it and several other of her poems may be found here at the Poetry Foundation website. 
     I first became familiar with this fine Danish poet through her book-length poem, alphabet (New Directions, 2000) in which the numbers of lines in stanzas follow the sequence of Fibonacci numbers.  Also, a selection from alphabet appears in the anthology Strange Attractors:  Poems of Love and Mathematics, (A K Peters, 2008).

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