Ernst Jandl, Four Poems
[The following are my translations of four poems by Ernst Jandl (1925-2000, popular Austrian concrete and performance poet. Jandl is best heard in the original German. For examples try: http://ubu.com/sound/jandl.html]
Two Kinds of Hand Signals
Before every church
I cross myself.
Before every orchard
I plum myself.
How I do the first:
every catholic knows.
How I do the second:
reft and light
what a brundel!
all those letters
that can’t get out of their words
all those words
that can’t get out of their sentences
all those sentences
that can’t get out of their texts
all those texts
that can’t get out of their books
all those books
covered with all that dust
the good cleaner lady
with the duster
In the Deli
I’ll have a maymeadow marmalade please
a little higher altitude but not too steep
just so you can still sit on it
well, then maybe a snowy slope, deep frozen
no skiers. a pine nicely snowed up
can go with it
no, OK then. let’s see – I see you’ve got hares hanging over there
two, three would do, and of course a hunter
where have you hung the hunters?
[Still can’t get WordPress to recognise stanza breaks. Most annoying. Have been told: ‘that’s just what happens with HTML sometimes’. Hmm.]