And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!
- And did those feet, William Blake

tirsdag 30. juni 2020

Glimpses from a quarantine

This June has been a strange month for most of us, and the strangeness has taken different forms. For me, these four weeks have been especially marked by my return to Norway for the summer, and the preparations and practicalities have entailed. Since I had spent the preceding six months in Sweden, there were several details concerning travel that needed to be sorted, and there was also the not so small matter of the quarantine upon my arrival in Norway. Luckily, as I live in the rural district, and since we, in my family, have a cabin that we normally rent to tourists, I could go into exile right in the middle of my favourite scenery. In this I have been extremely fortunate, and the lack of a stable Internet connection did, in the end, prove quite a boon as it did not provide me with distractions from the relaxing surroundings. I stayed in this cabin for eleven days, during which I enjoyed the many impressions of the landscape and its inhabitants - such as the flock of thirty-odd Canada geese that landed on the lake one morning - and during which I spent a lot of time reading. After months spent sitting in a small one-room building in Sweden worrying about the lack of concrete measures against the ongoing pandemic and going slightly mad, the wide, unrestrained vistas available to me were nothing short of paradisaical. As a conclusion to June 2020, I have gathered some glimpses from my quarantine here, and I hope to return to some of these excursions in future blogposts. 

tirsdag 9. juni 2020

On statues and collective memory

Two days ago, I wrote a thread on Twitter on the subject of statues and collective memory, as a response to the removal of a statue of the slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol. Since tweets can often be difficult to find after a time, I decided to reiterate my point in this blogpost, because the discussion about whether or not we should remove statues of historical individuals who committed atrocities is a discussion that has surfaced before and will surface again.

Whenever we talk about statues, it is important to keep in mind their main function. Statues serve as vehicles for the perpetuation of a community's collective memory. This community might be a village, a city, a region, a country, or any other entity, but the function remains the same. Moreover, statues usually serve a celebratory function, they are raised so that whichever part of the community's history is represented by the statue, that is a part of its history that the community wishes to preserve in the collective memory. Here it must be emphasised that collective memory is always selective, and this means that a community decides which parts to remember and how to remember them. By erecting a statue of a historical individual or an event, that individual or event is almost always by default remembered in a positive way. This goes even for statues commemorating tragedies: By erecting statues, a tragedy is expressly deemed worthy of remembering.

Collective memory, however, is not a fixed entity, and it does not come fully form, it is something that is always in flux, and always subject to the changes of the community itself. Collective memory is a kind of spiritual property that belongs to the community, and as that community changes, so do the views, the priorities and the collective memory of the community. This, in turn, means that any community at any given point in time is completely in its own right to change what is being celebrated through its collective memory. A community is not beholden to the hero-worship or the tastes of past generations. When the community and its collective memory changes, this means that things that once were remembered in a positive way are no longer remembered in that way. The positive remembrance is changed or removed. This also means that if a community decides to remove the statue of an individual, the community is completely in its right to do so. The statue is not a fixed, unalterable fact of the community's landscape or memorial topography, it is part of the community's flux. There was a time when the statue did not exist, and it is no problem if there comes a time when the statue no longer exists. This is part of the evolution of collective memory.

One complaint that often is raised whenever there is talk of removing statues is that the removal of statues entails the removing of history from the collective memory. This is utter nonsense. Collective memory is not dependent on statues alone, but is maintained through a wide range of different media, including the individual recollections of each individual of that community. And as the historian David Olusoga pointed out in a recent article, the removal of a statue adds to the history and collective memory of the community in question, something which is proved by a poem by Vanessa Kisuule, Bristol City Poet of 2018-20, which commemorates the statue's removal and thus adds to the collective memory of Bristol. The often raised counterpoint of removing statues being equated to removing history comes, therefore, from an understanding of history that is both inexplicably static and rooted in a particular bias, believing that bias or that preference to be an almost natural law. History, however, does not work that way.

Furthermore, while the removal of a statue does not mean that history is removed, it is important to keep in mind that statues often do obscure an important part of history. Since statues are almost always by default celebratory, a statue of an individual who committed atrocities facilitates an erasure of the dark aspects of that person's past. It is a way of glossing over the crimes and sins of that individual, and this is in turn a useful reminder that collective memory also often entails collective forgetting, or a collective amnesia. A statue of a slave trader might not have been intended first and foremost to celebrate the slave trading, but by celebrating the slave trader the statue facilitates a collective forgetting of the slave trading, directing the attention instead to other aspects of that person's life. Memory and oblivion are not separate entities, they are parts of the same mechanism. If people truly are worried about the erasure of history, a good idea is to not put up statues of slave traders, warriors, abusers, corrupt individuals and so on.

Collective memory belongs to the community, and therefore the community is its steward. Statues that impose the celebration of atrocities - explicitly or implicitly - need not be part of the collective memory. To do away with such statues is therefore not a removal of history, it is a correction of memory.

Personally, I think it is a good thing to remove statues of individuals who committed atrocities, be they enslavers, warriors, or enablers of violence of any kind. Such statues are a form of hero-worship, and hero-worship is corrosive to society, especially when directed at those who have committed terrible, heinous, inhuman acts. It is therefore very heartwarming to see the footage of the statue in Bristol being tossed into the harbour, and it is heartwarming to see that calls for the removal of statues of King Leopold II of Belgium - the man who brought about unfathomable suffering in Belgian Congo - are now spreading across the country. This is how the collective memory is corrected, as a community has a reckoning with its past, and its part priorities.

lørdag 6. juni 2020

Because Black Lives Matter - a short bibliography from my personal reading

As demonstrations against police violence is met with police violence throughout the United States, the racism against black people - an abomination sadly occurring across the globe - has once more become a widely-discussed topic. Tragically, it is a topic that never ceases to be relevant, and for that matter it never ceases to be talked about, but the issue of anti-black racism is only met with sustained media attention in the wake of tragedies such as the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. As calls for action against anti-black racism are vocalised, these are often met with dismissals from various media outlets, in various social media, or by sundry famous personalities. The statement that black lives matter is somehow found to be controversial by certain people, and the statement - which I wholeheartedly support - is often met with a mystifying response that all lives matter, as if such a statement was somehow a corrective. The response of all lives matter is usually presented by right-wingers, but occasionally also by non-black individuals who claim to be supportive of protests against racism, yet seem to find the phrase of black lives matter as too radical, too pugnacious, too on point. 

On social media, I have seen several black people currently living in the US - both of African ancestry and of African birth - express dismay and anger at non-black people who want the help of black people with finding books, films and other resources in order that non-black people might learn more about the experiences of black people and the systemic, deep-rooted, violent, all-pervasive racism that they encounter as an element embedded into their very existence, not only in the US but all over the world.

As a non-black person from Scandinavia, my experience with the world is so profoundly different from what black people in the US and elsewhere - including Scandinavia - are facing, and I try to see this difference as an incentive to listen to the voices of black people, and to read the works of black writers, but without demanding the time, the energy or the attention of black people. It is for this reason, that I have compiled this bibliography of writers of African ancestry or birth, i.e. descendants of African slaves brought to the Americas, African immigrants to the Americas, or Africans.

The following list is very short relative to what it could be, and this is because it includes only writers I myself have read. This is, therefore, only a starting point for anyone who wants to be exposed to a greater variety of literary voices, and who will find in this list several experiences and several cultures.

This list includes writers from the Americas and from Africa, and the list comprises a wide range of experiences. These writers have all broadened my horizon and provided me with knowledge of things about which I would otherwise have known little to nothing. The broad geographical range of this list is deliberate, to highlight the fact that anti-black racism is not limited to the US, and it is not limited to African-Americans. It is a list drawn from my reading as per today, and I keep looking for other writers to read. So feel free to add further suggestions in the comments.

This list will bring you into contact with writers who will expand your world and deepen your understanding. 

And, lest there be any doubt: Black lives matter. There can be no disagreement about this.


Anonymous works   

The Epic of Askia Mohammed (narrated by Nouhou Malio (Niger); translated by Thomas A. Hale)      

Germano Almeida (Cape Verde)    

Amadou Hampaté (Mali)

Marion Bethel (Bahamas)

Olympe Bhêly-Quénum (Benin)

Edward Kamau Brathwaite (Barbados)

Kwesi Brew (Ghana)

Aida Cartagena Portalatin (Dominican Republic)

Syl Cheney-Coker (Sierra Leone)   

Steve Chimombo (Malawi)

Merle Collins (Grenada)

Bernard Binlin Dadié (Ivory Coast)          

Mbella Sonne Dipoko (Cameroon)

Édouard Glissant (Martinique)

Nicolás Guillén (Cuba)        

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (USA)

Kendel Hippolyte (Saint Lucia)

Shake Keane (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines)

Jamaica Kincaid (Antigua and Barbuda)

Henri Lopes (Democratic Republic of Congo)       

Ngwatilo Mawiyoo (Kenya)

Kei Miller (Jamaica)

Mitchell-Ottley, Carol (Saint Kitts and Nevis)

Lília Momplé (Mozambique)

Bai T. Moore (Liberia)

Hans D. Nahamuja (Namibia)

Christopher Okigbo (Nigeria)

Okot p’Bitek (Uganda)        

Angèle Rawiri (Gabon)        

Manuel Rui (Angola)

Barolong Seboni (Botswana)          

Joseph Brahim Seid (Chad)

Léopold Sédar Senghor (Senegal)  

Wole Soyinka (Nigeria)       

Véronique Tadjo (Ivory Coast)      

Alemseged Tesfai (Eritrea)  

Abdourahman A. Waberi (Djibouti)         

Derek Walcott (Saint Lucia)

onsdag 3. juni 2020

Det er den draumen - a poem in two translations by Olav H. Hauge

As term draws to an end and work intensifies before the vacation, I have little time to do much work of my own. I have little time for research, I have little time to prepare possible projects, and I have little time to do much reading beyond that which is necessitated by my various duties as a supervisor and teacher. To unwind, and to calm my mind, I have turned to translating poetry, as seen in several blogposts from the past month in which I rendered works by Spanish poet Raquel Lanseros into Norwegian. This time, however, I go in the opposite direction, and I present one of my all-time favourite poems in two translations from Norwegian, one in Spanish, one in English.

The poem in question is "Det er den draumen" by Norwegian poet Olav H. Hauge (1908-94), published in the poetry collection Dropar i austavind (Drops in an east wind) from 1966. The title of this collection should perhaps also be understood as a pun, since drápa is an Old Norse word for a praise-poem. Olav H. Hauge is one of the most important Norwegian writers of all time, and several of his poems have become an integral part of the Norwegian cultural identity. He was born in the village of Ulvik in Hardanger in the Western Norwegian fjords at a time when rural Norway was marked by poverty, rigid hierarchies and severe isolation in the winters.

While education in the districts was not very comprehensive, he did learn German, and he learned French on his own initiative, and he also learned English through reading materials sent by his uncle in the US, as well as through his friendship with the local librarian who had stayed in the US for several decades before returning home to Norway. Hauge was educated as a gardener, and he is still often referred to as the gardener from Ulvik.

Olav H. Hauge published his first collection of poems in 1946, Glør i oska (Embers in the ashes). These poems were marked by traditional rhyme scheme and a clear influence from Norwegian folklore, Norse mythology and Christian imagery. While all these elements remained throughout his writing years, he eventually became an avid proponent of free verse, and wrote poems about his embrace of modernism. Even so, he continued to write sonnets, a form he cherished, and a form few other Norwegian poets have used. He was also an avid translator from English, German and French, and these have been published in a collected volume. Hauge has himself been translated into several languages, and the perhaps most accessible English translations have been made by American poet Robert Bly who also met with Hauge and corresponded with him.

Several of Hauge's poems are greatly beloved by the Norwegian readership. This was proved in 2016 when the Norwegian National Broadcast (NRK) organised a poll to see which was the favourite poem of the Norwegian people. Hauge had two poems among the final six, and he won with the poem I have translated here, called "Det er den draumen". Personally,this is my second-favourite poem by Hauge - my favourite one will probably feature in a future blogpost - and to share this work as widely as I can, I have translated it here into Spanish and English.

For a reading of the poem by Hauge himself, a recording is available here.

Det er den draumen

Det er den draumen me ber på
at noko vedunderleg skal skje,
at det må skje –
at tidi skal opna seg,
at hjarta skal opna seg,
at dører skal opna seg,
at berget skal opna seg,
at kjeldor skal springa –
at draumen skal opna seg,
at me ei morgonstund skal glida inn
på ein våg me ikkje har visst um.

Es este sueño

Es este sueño que llevamos
que algo asombroso sucederá,
que necesita suceder –
que el tiempo se abrirá,
que el corazon se abrirá,
que puertos se abrirán,
que la montaña se abrirá,
que fuentes estallarán –
que el sueño se abrirá,
que, en una madrugada, entraremos
en una bahia que no conocíamos.  

It is that dream

It is that dream we carry
that something wonderful will happen,
that it must happen –
that time will open up,
that the heart will open up,
that doors will open up,
that springs will burst –
that the dream will open up,
that we, one morning, will sail into
a narrow inlet we did not know about.

A note on the text and the translations

Hauge wrote in an old version of Norwegian Nynorsk, one that was more attuned to his particular dialect, and whose endings are now considered obsolete. This version was called "landsmål", the rural tongue, or the speech of the districts, and it is in several ways different from the current version, Nynorsk (New Norwegian), in which several features are more harmonised with Bokmål, the other official version of Norwegian, which is based on the Eastern dialects influenced in large part by Danish.

As the text of the original poem is quite straightforward, there are few aspects that require extensive commentary. I did struggle with the decision to use the word "suceder" in my Spanish translation, as "pasar" and "ocurrir" are also possible options. I ended up with "suceder" because I think this is the word that most accurately captures the magnitude invoked by Hauge's description.

One word has caused me a lot of trouble, both in English and in Spanish. This is the word "våg", which is a geographical word, and these words are always among the hardest to faithfully render in a language marked by a different topography. "Våg" means both wave and small bay, i.e. a place where the waves come to their end. The word is not fully captured by the Spanish "bahía", as this is usually applied to landscapes of a greater scale, but while I did consider calling it a little fjord, "fiordito", I found that this neologism did not carry the necessary gravitas to render Hauge's words. The English "narrow inlet" is more accurate, although this is almost too bland to envision the landscape of the fjords. However, since this has to do with how languages develop in their specific topographies, I have settled for this.

søndag 31. mai 2020

Cielo arriba - a poem by Raquel Lanseros

As a way to unwind during my still ongoing self-isolation, I have been translating works by Spanish poet Raquel Lanseros into my native Norwegian. These translations are primarily language exercises and intellectual games on my part rather than professional renditions. Even so, they are immensely satisfying, and a reminder to myself about the calming and invigorating powers of poetry, and I will continue to share my translations in future blogposts. I remain very grateful to Raquel Lanseros herself for allowing me to publish these and to share them with the world. 

This time I have chosen "Cielo arriba", a poem that can be found in its original language here. As usual, an English rendition of my translation will be found at the end, but note that this is meant to convey the choices I've made in the translation into Norwegian, rather than being a translation into English.

Himmelen over

(Cielo arriba; Raquel Lanseros)       

Og kor frydfullt, og med slik ein iver
støyter ein seg mot verda
og allereie før ein forstår det elskar ein henne.

Og slik ein urgamal fascinasjon
over å oppdage den heimlege leira
og finne den hjå froskane i dammen
som kvekkar dei uforanderlege sanningane,
og i den søte raven i søtsitronen
som i sin søtleik etterliknar same draumen. 

I leitinga etter det store, som ein går ut frå
inneheld det vesle, gjev ein seg deretter i kast med
det som lukka krev, og råsa
held ikkje opp med å freiste vandraren.       

Og den gjer seg om til tid, og landskapa
opnar seg opp og dirrar i under,       
og ansikta marsjerer forbi og striden
fornyar sin tusenårige silhuett,
og verdshjulet vender seg og vender seg
og bytter ut styrken med trøyttleik,
men hugtakinga er utan ende
og ein kjenner seg i live fordi ein veit
at alt, for alltid, er i fyrstegrøden.     

Og ein legg seg ned ved kanten av lagnaden
for å drikke av skuggen. Då høyrer ein
kvekkinga frå froskane i dammen.

Den opphavlege sanninga som alltid kjem attende
til den som allereie skjønar kva som er sant.

Heaven above

And how joyfully, and with what eagerness
one throws oneself against the world
and already before one understands it, one loves it.

And such a primordial fascination
at discovering the native clay
among the frogs in the pond 

who croak the immutable truths, 
and in the sweet amber in the citron 
who in its sweetness imitates that same dream.

In the search for the great, which one presumes
contains the small, one gives oneself over to
what fortune demands, and the path
does not desist from tempting the wanderer.

And it turns itself into time, and the landscapes
unfold and stirs in wonderment, 
and the faces march by and the struggle
renews its millennial silhouette, 
and the world-wheel turns itself and turns itself
and substitutes strength with tiredness,
but the enchantment is without end 
and one feels alive because one knows
that everything, forever, is in its firstfruits. 

And one lays oneself down by the edge of fate 
to drink of the shadow. Then one hears 
the croaking from the frogs in the pond.  

The first truth that always comes again

to those who understand already what is true.

mandag 25. mai 2020

On the popularity of Bede

Venerable the Bede may have been, but not clairvoyant
- Endeavour Morse, Endeavour S02E01

Today is the feast-day of Bede (d.735), a monk at the monastery of Jarrow in Northumbria (now on the coast of Durham County) who was canonised in 1899. In the English-speaking world, Bede is currently most famous as a historian, in particular for his Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum, the ecclesiastical history of the English people. Among later historians in medieval England, Bede was a model to be emulated in the writing of chronicles, and William of Malmesbury (d.1143) praised Bede's work in one of his own chronicles, Gesta Regum Anglorum, the deeds of the kings of the English. Indeed, William claimed to be the first historian since the Venerable Bede to have undertaken a historiographical project on such a scale.

Historia Ecclesiastica provides us with a valuable, if questionable source to Britain's history before 735, and the accuracy of several of Bede's claims have come under close scrutiny in modern historical research. Once, at a conference in Oxford, I was sitting in a pub together with a group of mostly junior scholars, where David Rollason, one of the most established scholars of early medieval Northern England, told about how he had once written a paper on Bede's Historia, tentatively titled "Would you buy a car from this man?". Sadly, the paper was never published.

 In the Middle Ages, however, Bede's reputation as a historian was greatest within England. In the rest of Latin Christendom, Bede's significant and widespread popularity rested predominantly on his theological works, which circulated widely from a relatively early point. A good example of this disparity in popularity between his historical and his theological work can be found in Legenda Aurea, the collection of saints' legends written in the 1260s by Jacobus de Voragine. Here, Jacobus engages several times with the history of the British Isles, such as when recounting Saint Germanus of Auxerre's journey to Britain. Germanus' sojourn to Britain is also mentioned by Bede, and it is possible that Bede serves as the ultimate source for Jacobus' account, but there is no reference to this in Legenda Aurea. This is notable, because in several other chapters of Legenda Aurea, Jacobus mentions Bede as an authority for various claims, but only for Bede's theology, and never for his historical writing. This might serve as a good measurement of Bede's importance outside of England.

The popularity and importance of Bede's theological works can also be illustrated in a different way. Just as Jacobus de Voragine had employed Bede as a theological authority in Legenda Aurea, Bede's scriptural commentaries were a part of that corpus of established scriptural knowledge that provided the foundation for several commentators in the new flourishing of theology that came about in the post-Carolingian period. To exemplify this, we have a fragment from a German breviary which is now kept in the special collections at the University Library of Southern Denmark.

Lectio from the office for the celebration of the dedication of a church
RARA Musik M 4, fragment XI, Syddansk Universitetsbibliotek

The fragment contains readings and chants for the feast of the dedication of a church. The exact date of this feast naturally varied from institution to institution, but the repertoire of liturgical material was common to all of Latin Christendom. This was a feast in which the new church was typologically connected to the temple of Solomon, the model for all Christian churches according to Christian exegesis. Another typological connection was also made to the site of Bethel where Jacob wrestled with God's angel, about which I have written more here.

In order to emphasise the connection between the new church and the old temple, theological authorities were invoked in the readings for the feast of the dedication. In the fragment above, we see one of the lessons read aloud during Matins, and this text provides a good insight into Bede's place among theological authorities. 

The lesson itself, as it stands in the fragment, is of unknown provenance. It is a collection of snippets and quotations from older works, where each individual part can be identified, while the current constellation of materials might have been assembled at any point and at any place. The snippets in question all refer to the temple of Solomon, and the surviving Latin text reads as follows (I have not yet had time to translate it):  

[superimpositi]s sibi inuicem ordinibus lapidum [a]mbulando ac proficiendo de uir[t]ute in uirtutem. Cepit salemon [e]dificare domum domini in jerusalem in [m]onte moria. Edificat in monte domus domini in uisione quia dilatata per orbem ecclesia in una eademque fidei et ueritatis catho[l]ice societate consitit. Namque in scissura mentium deus non est sed factus est in pace locus eius ac habitacio eius in syon. Edificatur in monte in ipso uidelicet sal[u]atore nostro. Ipse est enim mons montium qui de terra quidaem per originem assumpte carnis ortus est sed omnium terrigenarum potentiam ac sanctitatem singularis culmine dignitatis transcendit. In quo nimirum monte ciuitas siue domus domini constructa est quia si non in illo radicem frigat spes et fides nostra nulla est tu au[tem]

Despite being an assemblage of parts, this is coherent, and its coherence is a testament to the skillful compiling of the unknown liturgist who executed this passage. The compilation points to the importance Bede in two ways. First of all, by the fact that this compilation includes material from his treatise on the temple of Solomon, De templo salomonis. Secondly, by the fact that Bede is woven into the text twice (and perhaps even more, given that we have lost the opening of the lesson). 

The lesson comprises four snippets of texts: First, an extract from Bede; second, an extract from 2 Chronicles 3:1 (to which Bede's text presumably refers); third, a passage whose author is as yet undetermined, but who appears to be either Johannes Cassianus, Eucherius, or Hrabanus Maurus; fourth, another extract from Bede's De templo salomonis. In short, Bede appears to bookend the entire passage - although since the opening is lost we cannot make any certain judgement about this. 

What we see here is a good example of Bede's importance and popularity as a theological authority in the intellectual milieu of Latin Christendom. While his historiographical enterprise might have been appreciated more notably in medieval England, his theology established him as one of the universal theologians among Latin Christians throughout the Middle Ages.

lørdag 23. mai 2020

Bendita alegría - a poem by Raquel Lanseros, in translation

A few days ago, I posted a translation into Norwegian of a poem by the Spanish poem Raquel Lanseros, whose works have been a source of much delight and happiness in the ongoing self-isolation. In addition to providing a range of beautiful mental images conjured up by her mastery of words, these poems also serve as an opportunity for me to improve my Spanish, which I do in part by translating some of them into my own language.

Raquel Lanseros herself has very graciously permitted me to publish these translations, their roughness and uneven quality notwithstanding.

This time, I have published the poem "Bendita alegría", the original text of which can be found on this website. An English translation of this poem can be found here.

Following my own translation into Norwegian, I will provide a rendition into English - not of the original poem, but of my translation so that it will be possible to see the choices I have made to adjust the original text to a very different language.

Velsigna glede          

(Bendita alegria)  

Dei forvekslar deg med andre, glede:
naivitet, enkelheit,
Dei undervurderer deg gjennom diminutivar
du erstatning for lukka,
du euforien si stakkars syster

Dei verkar for å ha gløymt den tilfrosne rutinen
når det innstendige vert blodfattig
og frykta fangar som ein klippevegg

Eg ber deg: plukk ikkje opp den kasta hansken,
gløym utfordringa som kjem frå vankunne.
Lat oss ikkje verte fortapte på eitt eller anna hav,
utan ditt ljos, glede,
det som kjem frå dine romslege hender,
det som forvandlar sjela til ein plass å bu.

Sjå vekk frå skyttargravene si mumling,
frå opportunistane sin tomme retorikk.
Du er den som utskil den reinaste fridomen,
som er anden sin spontane orgasme.

Velgjerande glede,
den reine av smak,
den velviljuge,
du som lever og råder i den reine margen,
no – og i gryinga av kvar einaste time –
ver hjå oss. 

Blessed joy

They confuse you with others, joy: 
naivete, simpleness, simplicity,
They underestimate you through diminutives
you substitute for happiness, 
you poor sister of euphoria.

They appear to have forgotten the frozen routine
when the insisting becomes blood-drained
and fear catches you like the face of a cliff.

I beg you: do not pick up the thrown gauntlet,
forget the challenge posed by ignorance.
Let us not be lost on some sea or another
without your light, joy, 
that which comes from your spacious hands,
that which transforms the soul to an inhabitable space.

Look away from the mumbling of the trenches, 
from the empty rhetoric of the opportunists.
You are the one that exudes the purest freedom,
which is the spontaneous orgasm of the spirit.

Well-met joy,
the pure of taste,
the well-willing,
you who lives and reigns in the pure marrow,
now - and in the dawning of each single hour -
stay with us.