Knud Sorensen

by Knud Sørensen

Translated by Michael Goldman

There’s not just barley
growing in the new Danish landscape
loneliness grows there too
and denser with each year that passes,
the combines
harvest more loneliness
than grain
and loneliness is what
slips through the milking system’s tubes
with a distant and quiet rush.

can’t be sold,
it piles up
in the steadily growing
barns and stables,
it permeates the farmyard
and the farmhouse,
it sits
in front of the television in the evening
a single cup of coffee.

He says:
I have chosen
and the right
to decide for myself.


Det er ikke bare byg
der gror
i det nydanske landskab
også ensomhed gror her
og tættere år for år,
høster mere esomhed
end korn
og ensomhed er det
der siver gennem malkeanlæggets rør
med en fjern og stille susen.

kan ikke sælges,
den hober sig op
i de stadig større
lader og stalde,
den trænger over gårdspladsen
og ind i stuehuset,
den sidder
foran fjernsynet om aftenen
og drikker
en enkelt kop kaffe.

Han siger: Det er friheden
og selvbestemmelsen
jeg har valgt.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 17, Issue 3.

Knud SorensenDanish author, Knud Sørensen, born in 1928, was a certified land surveyor for 28 years, during which he became intimate with the Danish agricultural landscape. His work is best known for its portrayal of life in rural Denmark and the dissolution of small farming communities. A book reviewer for 14 years, he has also written 48 books and won over 20 literary awards. including a lifelong grant from the Danish Arts Council. In November 2014 he received the highest honor for a Danish author – the Great Prize of the Danish Academy.Michael GoldmanBy translating a Danish copy of Catcher in the Rye word for word, Michael Goldman taught himself Danish over 25 years ago to help him win the heart of a lovely Danish girl—and they have been married ever since.  He lives in Florence, Mass.

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