By Ulrike Almut Sandig

Translated by Bradley Schmidt

from Issue 25


Note: This poem accompanies Ulrike Almut Sandig’s story “Against Disappearance” found in Issue 25 and also translated by Bradley Schmidt.

but always these sad, sad poems:
in the southernmost city i can possibly imagine
they still think of SOUTHPOLE, hoping to drift
on pack ice, making purchases in fur boots.
but even so: NOWHERE is there as much
laughter as here, nowhere smoked
worse. but the raven laughter

always sounds like the laments of children
before one of the first thunderstorms, before eight.
towards evening the poems tug at the light.
by night there is laughter + little + little
                        grows quiet

Ulrike Almut Sandig was born in Großenhain (GDR) in 1979 and started publishing her poetry by pasting it on construction fences. She has published four volumes of poetry, a story collection, and two audio-books of poetry & pop music. Karen Leeder’s translations of her poetry were recently awarded a PEN/Heim Translation Grant. Sandig lives with her family in Berlin.

Bradley Schmidt grew up in rural Kansas and has studied German literature, theology, and translation studies. He lives and works in Leipzig as a translator and editor, and he is also a language instructor at Leipzig University. His translations of contemporary German poetry and prose have been published widely online and in print, with authors including Lutz Seiler, Anna Kim, and Bernhard Schlink. Missing Witnesses, his translation of poems by Ulrike Almut Sandig, was published by Ugly Duckling Presse in 2015.

Original text: Ulrike Almut Sandig, three poems: this legend chooses its own path, Quiet, and being a dog from Streumen. Leipzig: Connewitzer Verlagsbuchhandlung, 2007.

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