We're halfway through this residency in Svendborg. Some days I wish we could stay here forever.
I've been trying my hand again at Brecht's poems - with the help of Doris Eikhof, much more useful a source on the German language than, say, the Internet.
Here's an attempt at Spring 1938, followed by a couple of recent pictures - a glimpse of the Brecht Hus, taken from the water, and a ship in the Sound, taken from our garden.
Today, Easter Sunday morning,
A sudden snow storm crossed the island.
Snow lay between green hedgerows. My young son
Led me to the apricot tree leaning against the wall of our house,
Taking me away from verse I was writing, pointing the finger at those
Who’d brought the war, the war that might destroy
The continent, this island, my people, my family, me. Silently
My son and I placed a sack
Around the freezing tree.
Rain clouds darken the Sound, but the garden
Is still gilded by the sun. The pear trees
Have green leaves and still no blossoms. The cherry trees
Have blossoms but still no leaves. White umbels
Seem to sprout from arid branches.
A small boat with patched sails
Skims the ruffled water of the Sound.
Starlings are chirping, but I can also hear
On manoeuvre, the naval guns
Of the Third Reich.
Often, on these spring nights, a little owl calls
From the willows along the Sound.
There’s an old superstition around here,
That the owl is warning people
Who don’t have long to live. Me,
I know that I’ve spoken the truth
About the people in power.
The bird of death needs to do something,
Not just know.