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  • Wulkan
  • Ulrike Draesner (bio)
    Translation from German by Iain Galbraith


do you know what it's like when youhurtle (the falling leaves) he askswith gentle polish calm:wulkan.                                                                                volcano, Polish

the lay of the edges the porcelainall the things in the house he saidput them in mind of their own needs: photosof christenings, the blue dreamof a dresser with prancing enamel peacockthe wine from the wedding year—                                        theirs that is.the warmth still of their german lipson the glassesby the sink. we wereashamed not of takingbut of looking. thatwasn't the way we got on.                        wulkan.                        figure for lifepassed on. tableauof all the shadows on the walllayers of the human piling upprolific and hot, frozen. sittingon packed bags in your own placefor thirty years: fleeingto what othershave fled. [End Page 38]

                                                they sawed up                        the bed the othersfor fuel the only salvagedsack the wooden leg of a dead son.i can see their hands, fathergrandfather grandmother their nailsthey had not lost everythinghad kept almost all their body partskept something of the soul—perhaps

people lying down and making loveon european grass. a towerrises, all iron and restorationwhich is normal. a trampasses. the heart wulkansoft against the wallsbeats its hooves in a ramshacklepolish stable. [End Page 39]

Ulrike Draesner

Ulrike Draesner was born in Munich and lives in Berlin and Liepzig. Her books include five novels and several volumes of short stories and essays. Of her seven volumes of poetry, the most recent are Subsong and Nibelungen. Heimsuchung. Her translations include the work of Gertrude Stein, H.D., and Louise Gluck. Her awards include the Nicolas Born Prize, Lyrikpreis Orphil, Roswitha Prize, Bremer Netzresidenz, and Solothurner Literature Prize.

Iain Galbraith

Iain Galbraith was born on the west coast of Scotland. He is a poet, essayist, and translator whose awards include the John Dryden Translation Prize, Stephen Spender Prize, and Popescu European Poetry Translation Prize. His recent translations include Anweisungen für eine Himmelsbestattung Gedichte by John Burnside and Self-portrait with a Swarm of Bees: Selected Poems by Jan Wagner.



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