Salamander Sun

Salamander Sun. Poems. Bloodaxe 2015. Two books in one volume: The Migrant Bird´s Compass & Salamander Sun. The poem is translated by David McDuff


First is joy,
  smuggled across the border
      through a narrow tunnel.
The night is over, drowned in the sea
  buried in the ground,
      thousands of years passed alone.
Smells that already existed,
  closely surround,
       horses snort in the barn.
Wake with light,
  see shadow-play on the wallpaper
       hear birds in bushes and ivy.
The grown-ups’ voices and laughter,
  a safe landing place
       on the other side of the wall.
First is the morning garden
  in sun,
       its illumination of the heart.
Apples fall in the warm grass,
  insects rise
       up from flowers’ petal depth.
First is openness,
  that soon closes,
First is trust,
  that is easily swallowed
       by galactic fear.
First is joy,
  that newborn flows
       towards the world, dreams it.
Then follows grief, then follows anger,
  then someone says:
    – Peace be with it.
Life is death that is coming,
  but first is joy.

See the book

Pia Tafdrup
is a poet, writer and a member of The Danish Academy.

Honours include:

The Swedish Academy’s Nordic Prize 2006
The Soeren Gyldendal Award, 2005
The Nordic Council’s Literature Prize, 1999


© 2024 Pia Tafdrup