Featured Poem

Another Daphne

...Und die verwandelte Daphne will, seit sie lorbeern fühlt, daß du dich wandelst in Wind.– Rainer Maria Rilke

                And Daphne, newly transformed –
                Daphne, who feels herself greenish,
                               laurelish 
                through and through
                         a glistening pliancy –
                that Daphne has had a change of heart
                and now she wants you, whoever you are,
                to become the wind itself –

                               ***

Who knows what Daphne really wanted –
Meanwhile, the girl who couldn’t say love
has started writing poems,
love poems –

‘Oh my!’ she says,
‘Maybe I’ll keep writing love poems now.’

The wind in her hair,
the wind fragrant with roses and leaves –

And there, a song thrush – and there, a blackbird,
and look, swallows – today the swallows fly higher and higher –   

                            ***

Shall we change the story?

Remove Cupid’s arrows,
and let Daphne be free to choose –

                            ***

The girl says, beautiful.

                            ***

‘What about the crows?’ her lover asks.

‘Have you never seen crows fighting?’

And he shows her
how they fence with their beaks –
‘Like this.’ he says, ‘Like this.’
And he shows her how
their heads dart out at each other –
 ‘They love to argue.’ he says, ‘These crows
with their crow language.’

                            ***

‘Birdsong.’ she says, ‘Birdsong.’

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About the translation:
Poet:
Sujata Bhatt
Translator:
Sujata Bhatt
Original language:
German
Issue:
2014 Number 2 - The Constellation

About the author

Original poet

Sujata Bhatt

Sujata Bhatt’s Collected Poems (Carcanet, 2013) was a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation. Her new collection, Poppies in...

» Read more

Translator

Sujata Bhatt

Sujata Bhatt’s Collected Poems (Carcanet, 2013) was a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation. Her new collection, Poppies in...

» Read more

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