Göran Sonnevi  (translated by Rika Lesser)


from Mozart's Third Brain



Radical magnification   Pain's needle removes almost everything
Radical diminution   We are also in the annihilation that is joy's
All the faces see   With their abysses of eyes, non-reflective

Three springs arise from the alvar, like eyes   I immerse my hand
to where the flow originates, from below, from the crack in the limestone
The water quite cold   Around my hand I feel the flow's
revolving motion   As if it were a woman's sex, transparent, pulsating
Around the wellsprings butterworts grow, their light-green, sticky leaves,
some with black insects   A marsh helleborine stands alone, beautiful
This one lighter than those on Gotland, which grew around the sand marsh on
Sudret, the pale purple of the sepals with small streaks of green
We wash our faces in the clear water   Blue libellulidae fly
We look at the runestones near Sandby church, and at the snakeheads where
the gables peak on the old barns   The lacertines move in the stone
Above them is a sun-sign   At night a line of thunderstorms approaches, with its 
                                                                                           own world of signs
We saw pictures of multitudes of refugees from Srebrenica, when we re-
turned from the seashore; I finished reading the book about Dante   He never gave up
the concept of universal empire   He was within his vision
In Bosnia universal power has been degraded, the power that should be universal
is not, is nothing but the shadows of the minor empires   In what is half-
way invisible   The suffering is real   The moral degradation is real
Some people help   Impotence's reflections also destroy people
I shower in the glow of lightning, because I got tired of waiting   Next comes
the light through shut eyelids, with its fiery sheen, before I too fall asleep

Those who commit genocide are also real   We see them embrace one another   It is
entirely repulsive   I too shall enter the war of shadows
Who has once made war can never forget it   With my body's soul
I touched what is repulsive; I closely searched the turning, the transformation of
the signs in the heavens, in the universal war   The rock-roses shine yellow on the Alvar,
and also here, by the house, in the grass   Here, where I've set up my tower
Against the snake's gaze   The swallow chicks also look at me here, from their nest
I hear them now, in the quiet   Through the open window came the scent of the sea
We are in the universal brain; parts of it   Parts of its inner annihi-
The inner reflections blot one another out   We shall be there, as in a nest


from Mozart's Third Brain:    CVI, CVII, CXI, CXII, CXIV, CXVI, CXXVIII, CXXIX, CXXX

© 2008 Electronic Poetry Review