from Light: Men’s Voices

By Inger Christensen Inger Christensen

Translated By Susanna Nied Read the translator's notes

Men’s voices in the dark
—once in a temple—
men’s voices in the sun
—once I was caryatid
number nine—
men’s voices in the park
—I was a statue
untouchable naked
with no other mirror
than the fingers of the air
yielding to thought after thought
with no other sadness
than the rustling of leaves—
men’s voices in the park:
why did they waken me?

Source: Poetry (May 2009).


This poem originally appeared in the May 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

May 2009


Inger Christensen (1935–2009), born in Vejle Denmark, was one of Europe's leading contemporary experimentalists. Her works include poetry, fiction, drama, and essays. She received numerous international literary awards, including the Nordic Prize of the Swedish Academy, the Grand Prix des Biennales Internationale de Poésie, the Austrian Sate Prize for Literature, and the German Siegfried Unseld Award.

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Social Commentaries, Gender & Sexuality

Poetic Terms Mixed

Report a problem with this poem

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.