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The Taste of Steel

Pia Tafdrup: The Taste of Steel. Poems Gyldendal 2014. Cover: Ida Balslev-Olesen. The poem is translated by David McDuff

The Taste of Steel


Your mistress, who broke
the sugar bowl,
I could not care less about now.
The hate doesn’t vibrate any more
about having seen you

dead drunk with infatuation, but
the sugar bowl,
which I was left by my mother’s mother,
is still missing
every time I reach a hand

into the cupboard, and Søren Kierkegaard’s
Stages on Life's Way, which I was
reading, she has spilled coffee on,
just two stones in the mosaic

of misfortunes she has loudly
caused in what with steel-firm resolve
I believed was my home.