By Elfriede Jelinek b. 1946 Elfriede Jelinek

Translated By Michael Hofmann

my sparrows
let go
the snow
                                    into fields of carnations swollen with anger.

the three popes
the revolution
                                    against teenage television.

seals smash
their heads
their heads
on the elevators
the paternoster elevators
                                    which delays the holding of their conference.

my sister
the wind's bride
gives blood
for the cello
of the jericho desert
                                    which prompts the trombones                                       
                                    to hold a protest meeting.

I hang your lips
like birdseed
outside my door
and observe
through the window
their death-struggle
with the she vulture.

let go
the snow

Source: Poetry (November 2007).


This poem originally appeared in the November 2007 issue of Poetry magazine

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 Relationships, Love, Nature, Animals, The Body, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, Desire, Heartache & Loss

POET’S REGION Eastern Europe

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