from Letter in April: IV

By Inger Christensen Inger Christensen

Translated By Susanna Nied Read the translator's notes

Already on the street
with our money clutched
in our hands,
and the world is a white laundry,
where we are boiled and wrung
and dried and ironed,
and smoothed down
and forsaken
we sweep
back
in children’s dreams
of chains and jail
and the heartfelt sigh
of liberation
and in the spark trails
of feelings
the fire eater
the cigarette swallower
come
to light
and we pay
and distance ourselves
with laughter.

Source: Poetry (May 2009).

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

May 2009

Biography

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.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Social Commentaries, Money & Economics, Class, Life Choices

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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