From "DRIFT"

By Caroline Bergvall b. 1962 Caroline Bergvall












The fair wind failed. The wind dropped. Winds were unfavourable
straightaway. The favourable wind dropped and they were beset by
storms so that they made little progress. Then the wind dropped and
they were beset by winds from the north and fog; for many days they
did not know where they were sailing. The fair wind failed and they
wholly lost their reckoning. They did not know from what direction.
Driven here and there. The fog was so dense that they lost all sense
of direction and lost their course at sea. There was much fog and the
winds were light and unfavourable. They drifted far and wide on the
high sea. Most of those on board completely lost their reckoning.
The crew had no idea in which direction they were steering. A thick
fog which did not lift for days. The ship was driven off course to
land. They were tossed about at sea for a long time and failed to
reach their destination. We embarked and sailed but a fog so thick
covered us that we could scarcely see the poop or the prow of the
boat








Then the wind ddroppe and they were beset by w inds from then
orth and fog for manyd ays they did not know where they were
sailing Thef air wind f ailed and they wholly l ost their reck their
reckoning did not not know from what direction D riven here and
there The f og was sodense that they l ost all ss ense of dirrrtion and
l ost thr course at sea There was much fog and the w inds were light
and unf and unfavourable They driftedf ar and wide on the high sea
Mo stof those onboard completly l ost l ost l ost their reckoning Th
ec rew had no idea in which direction they were ststeering A thick
fo g which d i d n ot l ift for days The sh ip was driven offf course tol
and They were ossted about astea for a longt ime and f iled tor each
their destination We mbarkt and sailed but a fog so th but a fog so
th but a fog so th th th th thik k overed us that we could scarcely see
the poop or the prow of the boa t








str  ght w   Th  f  r w nd f  l d Th  w nd dr pp d Th  f v  r bl 
w nd dr pp d  nd th   w r  b s t b st rms s  th t th   m d 
l ttl  pr gr ss Th n th  w nd dr pp d  nd th   w r  b s t by w nds
fr m the n rth  nd f g f r m ny d ys th y d d n t kn w wh r  th y
w r  s  l ng Th  f  r w nd f  l d  nd th y wh ll  l st th  r r ck th  r
r ck n ng Th y d d n t kn w fr m wh t d r ct  n D r v n h r   nd
th r  Th  f g w s s  d ns  th t th y l  st  ll ss  ns  f d rrrt  n  nd
l  st thr c  rs  t s   Th r  w s m ch f g  nd th  w  nds w r  l ght
 nd unf  nd  nf v   r bl  They dr ft df  r  nd w d   n th  h gh s  
M  st  f th se   nb  rd c mpl tly l  st l  st l  st th  r r ck n ng Th 
 c r w h d

n   d    n wh ch d r ct  n th y w r  stst  ring   th ck f  g wh ch d 
d n  t l  ft f r d ys The sh  p

w s dr ven  fff c  rse t l  nd Th y w r   sst d  b    t  st    f r 
l ngt  me and f  led t r   ch th  r








d st n tion W  mb rkt  nd s  l d b t   f g s   th b t   f g s  th b t
  f g s   th th th th th k k  v r d

 s th t w  c  ld sc rc ly s   th  p  p  r th  pr w  f th  b   t  f the
b  t of the b  t the b

b s t b  st rms s  th t th   m d  l ttl  pr gr ss Th n th  w nd
dr pp d  nd th   w r  b s t by w

The sh  p w s dr ven  fff c  rse t l  nd Th y w r   sst d  b  t
 st   f r

l ngt  me and f  led t r   ch th  r d st n tion W  mb rkt  nd s  l d
b t   f g

s  th b t   f g s  th b t   f g s  th th th th th k k  v r d s th t w 
c   ld sc rc ly s    th  p   p  r th  pr w  f th  b   t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t








t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t








t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t








t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t
t t t t t t
t go
t go off
t go off course
t go off course hafville
t be lost forvillet hafville Ache come off course hafville
Did not go where I was knowing hafville Had fear wildering hafville
For a minute there I lost myself Totally at sea lost myway tossed misted
lost mywill in the fog hafville hafville my love








Major Tom hafville
Li Bai hafville
Rimbaud hafville
Shelley hafville
Amelia Earhart hafville
Jeff Buckley hafville
Spalding Gray hafville
Virginia Woolf hafville
Albert Ayler hafville
Reinaldo Arenas hafville
Hart Crane hafville
Ingeborg Bachmann hafville

When you rise from the dead,
when I rise from the dead,
the hangman will hang at the gate
the hammer will sink into the sea








Kom ut av kursen hafville Secgan at come hafvillur ok darkens
ok myrkr ok hafvillur ok þokur ok hafvillur Cannot pokker see
through this þokur Hwær hwanon never knew hu how to steer
out of this rook this moss droomly wetter stoutair mattersea thick
dank shadoway Lost lost all reckoning the sea coagulated All wats
not-light all wats not-dark Déadlockit Beat bells! Blow foghorns!
Storm the ceiling! Set my head on fire! Lightup! this d arkness for a
bearing thour pis halla








Beat bells blow foghorns! Gebangbang for rumbly lowe!
When will the wind come? Where will the wind from come?
Will it come from the naught, bringing phobias and rationing?
Will it come from the soot, bringing droughts and epidemics?
Will it come from the feast, fleeding crops and arteries?
Will it come from the waste, bringing seizures and military uprisings?
When will the wind come? Where will the wind from come?
Will it come from the clog, causing jellyfish fission shutdown?
Will it come from the leak, bringing mass dispersion radiation?
When will the wind come? Where will the wind from come?
Will it be an empty confusing windup? Will it be a tempestuous hooley?
Will it be a blippy huff ’n puff ? Will it be a good proper piner?
Heigh Ho and up she rises! Heigh Ho and up she goes!
Beat bells! Blow foghorns! Loud metal gebangbang for rumbly love!

Source: Poetry (May 2014).

MORE FROM THIS ISSUE

This poem originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of Poetry magazine

May 2014
 Caroline  Bergvall

Biography

Caroline Bergvall was born in 1962 in Germany to a Norwegian father and a French mother. She earned degrees from the Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle, the University of Warwick, and the Dartington College of Arts. Working across languages, media, and art forms, Bergvall’s interests run from multilingual poetics to feminism to issues of cultural belonging. Her work takes the form of both published poetic works and performance, . . .

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Poems by Caroline Bergvall

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, The Mind, Activities, Travels & Journeys

POET’S REGION England

Poetic Terms Mixed, Prose Poem, Visual Poetry

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