The Sound of Clouds

The Sound of Clouds. Poems. Gyldendal 2020. Cover: Ida Balslev-Olesen. The poem is translated by David McDuff


The gale takes hold of that bucket
someone has left in the yard,
as I lie I hear
the bucket roll from one side
to the other, hear
it scrape across the flagstones,
my ears dream the world out,

I know the yard exactly but hear
the sound of the bucket, outline it
so it echoes in me,
now the bucket knocks
into the railings, now it rolls on
with a fresh gust of wind, crashes
into the stone step, the sounds

surround me, I can’t see the yard,
but am in its space
only on the basis of the sound
where the bucket is, close up or far away,
to one side or the other,

through my ears I see
the yard’s space before me, the sounds
move me into it, my listening
to the world gradually makes it visible.

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