By Elfriede Jelinek b. 1946 Elfriede Jelinek

Translated By Michael Hofmann

april breath
of  boyish red
the tongue crushes
strawberry dreams

                                  hack away wound
                                  and wound the fountain

and on the mouth
perspiration white
from someone's neck

a little tooth   
has bit the finger
of  the bride the
                                  tabby yellow and sere

the red boy   
from the gable flies
an animal hearkens
in his white throat
                                  his juice runs down
                                  pigeon thighs

a pale sweet spike
still sticks
in woman white

an april breath
of  boyish red

Source: Poetry (November 2007).

 Elfriede  Jelinek


Recipient of the 2004 Nobel Prize for Literature, Elfriede Jelinek is an Austrian poet, playwright, and novelist. Born to a Catholic-Viennese mother and a Jewish-Czech father in Mürzzuschlag, Styria, Jelinek grew up in Vienna and lost many members of her family to the Holocaust.

Jelinek studied music intensively from an early age. She graduated from the Vienna Conservatory and studied theater and art history at the University of . . .

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Poems by Elfriede Jelinek

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Coming of Age, Nature, Spring, Animals, The Body

POET’S REGION Eastern Europe

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