Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Per Højholt / from Praksis, 8: Album, tumult [Praxis, 8: Album, tumult]

Per Højholt (1928 – 2004)

An impromptu selection from Praksis 8: Album, tumult [Praxis 8: Album, tumult] (Gyldendal 1989)

22. Anyone who frequents the dikes of western Jutland will be familiar with the occasional pools that stare up like empty pupils into the vast sky from just inside the dike. The grass reaches all the way down to the gaping darkness. The skies of western Jutland have no truer observers. Even in mid-winter these stagnant waters are so late to form ice that for a long time they simply remain, deep black, absorbing snow. One can dream of disappearing in such a gaze, which pays one no heed.

28. The Caucasian radish was the size of a turnip, though round. It had hardly any top and was the same colour as the moon. One night in the 12th week after Midsummer, it pushed itself out of the ground and lay there.

42. That Susan Pedersen of Lind opened the window at all that March morning was because she wanted to air the room. That she was pregnant did not occur to her, and she never saw the angel on the bird table in the garden. But then it was hardly bigger than a blackbird.

59. As if that would help! A horse has the appearance of a horse, inevitably, the muzzle soft and delicately shaped, beyond a doubt. And the seed-leaves of the beech tree, two, like a small collar, and in their hundreds! Beech, ash, birch, distinct and mute! Here we are with tongues in our mouths.

Translated from the Danish by Martin Aitken

© Per Højholt and Gyldendal, 1989.
Translation © Martin Aitken, 2008

1 comment:

Martin Aitken [zookeeper] said...

These four pieces are part of an impromptu selection of 15 short prose poems taken from the eighth volume of Højholt's 'Praksis' series. Together with a short introduction I penned on the ouevre, these will appear in the fifth issue of the US literary journal CALQUE (http://calquezine.blogspot.com/)during the autumn of 2008. This may be the first time Højholt has appeared in English.