Per Brask and Patrick Friesen, translated from the Danish written by Ulrikka S. Gernes

copyright ©2015

No More Now. Even Fear Has Fear. Even Of Itself.
I refuse to be lonely. No longer. It’s enough now.
Language contradicts itself, constantly producing
additions, disclaimers and footnotes. And the body
never gets ready, nails grow out, and hair, in the strangest
places. Here is the mountainside is black with lemons.
At the very moment I rest within my contour a dam
breaks. Maybe there’s a connection. I am someone
who…bounded by skin, is alone. I say it again, as loud
as I can: not another word! Maybe everything is connected.
Several thousand kilometers away you move your hand.
And here everything is instantly flooded.

Notes on the Poem

We continue to celebrate works in translation with this week’s poem, an excerpt from the 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize Canadian shortlisted collection, Frayed Opus for Strings & Wind Instruments, by Per Brask and Patrick Friesen translated from the Danish written by Ulrikka Gernes. Of this collection, the judges said, “this collaboration between Danish poet, Ulrikka Gernes and Canadian writers, Brask and Friesen, is astonishingly successful, every line at home in its new language. The poems have not stopped being poems. In fact, now that they are speaking through three mouths (one female, two male) they seem to have gathered an extra layer of strangeness which suits their dream-like, mutable, almost anonymous voice.” Listen to Per Brask, Patrick Friesen, and Ulrikka Gernes read for the Griffin Poetry Prize Award Ceremony here

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