Per Svenson: A First Siciliana

Who can pick up the weight of Britain,
Who can move the German load
Or say to the French here is France again?
Imago. Imago. Imago.

Wallace Stevens

I say, Imago Stevens,
The fruit garden of Armenia
(Norbrandt: „This is where mirror meets mirror.”)
Would perhaps be easier to have moving
„lightly through the air again”, whatever the price of
„imagination and its hymns”,
Britain, Germany and France still being so very heavy.


And surely Portugal, the garden of Sophia de Mello Breyner:

D’autres aimeront les choses que j’ai aimees
Ce sera le meme jardin á ma porte.

Canto 110: „Thy quiet house.” And a fruit garden.


The needleboats at San Sabba,
the beasts above Cabra, are they still there?
The snow of Ararat, the ocean of Portugal,
can they be moved lightly enough by fantasy?
Who can pick up the weight of France?


between mirror and mirror,
A cloning of black roses
Enters the room,
A joint Armenia and Sicily
of fragrance.

She is:
Thirteen ways of looking at
a black rose.
She is also:
Thirteen ways of looking at
a rose in Sicily.


13 ways, a black rose.


13 ways,
Like a siciliana sung,
13 ways,
Like swallows,
Singing the cloning of their canon of lament.


A quiet muse
in a quiet house, Szilvia Melinda
(a cloning of gardens, ending in melancholy,
ending in joy),
The mirror of a new poem in a mirror of poetry,
in the early evening light,
A green sunset.
13 ways of dreaming
A dream twice.
„Es jagt die Schwalbe weglang auf und wieder.”
(Liliencron, four times repeated.)


To be cloning to be,
That is the implication,
Mirroring traditions
Of what you have seen and heard
Between themselves.
That is the new poem
Mirrors added,
Saying, „Here is France again.”
That is a new lightness
Of the German language:
Add the mirrors.
This is an English poem
Moving out of France,
of black lace
over the black rose.

Budapest – Paris
March-November 2005


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