Archive for the ‘Denmark’ Category

Johannes Vilhelm Jensen (Denmark, 1873-1950)

The only thing I am able to find by Jensen is a rough google translation of his poem At Memphis Station.

At Memphis Station

Half awake and half asleep
proposed by a clammy reality, but still distant
in a home of Gus Danai disks Dreams
I stand and Chopper Teeth
Station at Memphis, Tennessee.
It’s raining.

The night is so desolate and extinguished
and rain scourged the earth
with a vidløs, dark energy
Everything is klægt and impenetrable.

Why is this train hour after hour?
Why is my fate have been stopped here?
Shall I flee from the rain and vexation of spirit
in Denmark, India and Japan
to count in and rot in Memphis,
Tennessee, USA?

And now the day. Light seeps joyless
against this wet prison.
Day exposes mercilessly
the cold rails and all the black Sølle
Waiting room with Chocolate Machine,
Orange Peel, Cigar and Match Snippets
The day laughs through with spyende Gutters
and a lattice of eternal rain
Rain, I tell you from heaven and the earth.

How the world is deaf and uflyttelig,
where the Creator has talent!
And why do I pay my Quota
this plebian Kneippkur of a life!

Quiet! See where machine
the mighty creature, standing quietly seething
and wraps himself in the smoke, it is patience.
Turn the pipe on a fasting life
curse God, and throat your pain!

However, so go away and stay in Memphis!
Your life is anyway nothing
than an acid rain, and your destiny
was always hanging delayed
in one or another miserable waiting room—
Stay in Memphis, Tennessee!

For inside one of these plakathujeude Houses
Happiness awaits you, good luck,
if you can just eat your impatience—
Again sleep a round young virgin
with ear buried in her hair,
she will get you in meeting
one fine day on the street
as a wave of fragrance
with an expression as if she knew you.

Is not it spring?
The rain falls not fertile?
Sounds not like a love murmur,
a long subdued Kærlighedspassiar
Foot to foot
between the rain and the earth?
The day dawned so full of sorrow,
but see now light rain fell!
During the day you are not its Kampret?
However, it is now bright. And who turns compost smell
in between Perro’s rusty Jærnstivere
mixed with Regnstøvets framework breath—
a Foraarsanels –
is it not comfort?

And now, look how Mississippi
in his bed of flooded forests
wakes from the day!
See how giant river enjoying her kink!
Where the subcutaneous fat in the royal bow and swing fleets
of trees and ragged driftwood in its vertebrae!
See where it leads an extremely Paddle steamer
Flood in his arms
as a dancer, there are men on the floor!
See the sunken Isthmus—Oh what urmægtig Ro
over the landscape of drowned forests!
Do you not see where the flor Morning Vande
dresses mile wide with Today’s frugal Lighting
and wander around during the pregnant clouds!

Fat you also you, unforgiving!
You will never forget that you promised you eternity?
Is your ground your arms gratitude?
What are you going with your Elskerhjærte?

Hold up and stay in Memphis,
Become a Citizen in the marketplace,
go and livsassurer you among the other,
pay your premium by Lumpenhed,
that they may know themselves safe for you
and you should not be poured out of the association.
Woo hin Lady with Roses and Gold ring
and start a Savskæreri as other men.
Hank quiet up in rubber boots . . .
See you out, smoke your pipe show
sphinxforladte in Memphis . . .

Ah, there comes the wretched freight train
we have waited for six hours.
It comes slowly—with crushed Pages
the whistle weak, paralyzes the wagons on three wheels
and they blew Ruf drips of soil and sludge.
But the trend between the coals
are four characters
covered by blodvaade overcoats.

Since our great snort Express Machine,
go forward a little and stop sighing deeply
and stands ready to leap. The trail is free.

And we travel further
through the flooded woods
during rainfall yawning locks.

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Henrik Pontoppidan (Denmark, 1857-1943)

Henrik Pontoppidan (Denmark, 1857-1943)

GnuBookImagesHere is an excerpt from the first chapter of Emanuel, or Children of the Soil, published in 1896, which gives an evolution of the Danish peasant: “It was towards the end of the seventies. For a week the devil’s own weather had raged over the district. The storm had swept from the east on the wings of wild, jagged, blue black clouds, lashing up the waters of the fiord, so that great masses of foam were thrown high on to the fields. In many places the peasants’ winter corn was completely uprooted; the reeds and rushes in the bogs were beaten down, the meadows scared, and the ditches choked with sand and earth so that the water not finding an outlet spread itself over both fields and roads. There were uprooted trees in every direction, shattered telegraph posts, broken down corn stacks, and dead birds killed by the hurricane….By this time several people had begun to search their innermost hearts, and to make up their accounts with the Almighty in the belief that the Day of Judgment must be at hand. Even on the evening of the third day when the people began shoveling away the snow drifts from the doors, and sweeping the thick cakes of snow from the window panes, more than one man standing on his door-step, in the struggling moonbeams, peering out over the desolate white waste of snow to which earth and fiord were changed, wondered “what it all meant,” that is to say was it a warning, a heavenly proclamation to befal the village, the district, or possibly the whole land in the immediate future?” by Henrik Pontoppidan, translated by Mrs. Edgar Lucas

Karl Adolph Gjellerup (Denmark, 1857-1919)

Karl Adolph Gjellerup (Denmark, 1857-1919)

Here’s the opening of Gjellerup’s The Pilgrim Kamanita : a Legendary Romance published in 1911: The Lord Buddha Revisits the City of the Five Hills “This have I heard: That the time came when the earthly sojourn of the Lord Buddha should be ended, and journeying from place to place in the land of Magadha, he came to Rajagriha.” Thus the Holy Buddhist Sutra of ancient India.

As the Master drew near to the City of the Five Hills, day was almost over, and the mildly beneficent rays of the evening sun lay along the green rice-fields and meadows of the far-reaching plain as if they were emanations from a divine hand extended in blessing. Here and there little billowy clouds—of purest gold dust as it seemed—rolled and crept along the ground, showing that men and oxen were plodding wearily homeward from their labour in the fields ; and the lengthening shadows cast by isolated groups of trees were bordered by a halo, radiant with all the colours of the rainbow. Framed in a wreath of blossoming gardens, the embattled gateways, terraces, cupolas, and towers of the capital shone forth, delicately clear as in some fairy vision; and a long line of rocky eminences, rivalling in colour the topaz, the amethyst, and the opal, were resolved into an enamel of incomparable beauty.

Deeply moved, the Lord Buddha stayed his steps. Joy welled up within him, and his heart leaped forth to greet those familiar forms, bound up for him with so many memories: the Grey Horn, the Broad Vale, the Seer’s Crag, the Vulture’s Crest—”whose noble summit towers, roof- like, over all the rest”—and, above all, Vibhara, the Mountain of the Hot Springs, under whose shadow, in the cave beneath the Sattapanni tree, the homeless wanderer had found his first home, his first resting-place on the final journey from Sansara to Nirvana.”  by Karl Adolph Gjellerup, translated by John E. Logie

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