The Migrant Bird´s Compass & Salamander Sun

The Migrant Bird´s Compass. Salamander Sun & Other Poems. Bloodaxe 2015 Bloodaxe 2015. The poem is translated by David McDuff

Pia Tafdrup: “The Migrant Bird´s Compass” in the book Salamander Sun & Other Poems. Bloodaxe 2015

THE WORDS TRAVEL (from: The Migrant Bird´s Compass)

I live in another country, but even so
don’t leave my home.
The alphabet I take with me
and the structures of the grammar
the words’ meanings and emphases.
  No matter where on the globe
I settle,
I live in the language
  I was born into.
No storm of other languages
capsizes mine.
I am I
        in my own language –
dreaming in what accidentally
became my mother tongue.
I write at home,
               write abroad,
everywhere the same:
The words have hearts of migrating birds,
dissection shows,
  they want to reach someone,
  and I live with these
bird-words, their singing and hoarse cries.

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