Louise Rosengreen

(trans. from Danish  Thomas E. Kennedy)


The poet's hat

The poet takes his hat off/ for those who have other things on their mind:

a shoe/

a medister sausage.

That's poetic/ but not for those who have other things on their mind:

municipal reforms for example.

The poet puts his hat on/ again and goes/ but not farther away than he turns up/again

with dolls on his hands:

Here's Dolly Parton/

she plays the banjo with long nails/

she sings with big breasts/ the poet likes that.

Here's Heidi/ say hi to Heidi/ she met her lover on the internet/

Her little sister doesn't understand that/ little sister is afraid of the internet/ it is so big.

Here are his hands/

Here are his hands behind his back.


The poet points out:

It's always about sex/ they have to screw their notebooks/ and get better/

or fuck bees.

I dig my nails into my hand chickenscratching/ when yet another solarium-brown bean

pole gets up/ on the stage/ with low cut baggy ass pants.

Whatever happened to the evocative birds? The poet sings in poetic dialect.

The field is manhandled/ people reap themselves in and out in nature/ a blackbird sits/



The poet under the influence:

They don't fall into place/

They fall on a dry spot the words/ I cast into the air between spray spatters of spit.

Just because the bartender took a weekend course / and practiced shake / rattle / and


is no/

good reason/ for him to water my whiskey with blended ice/ when he's run dry/ of


Would he be satisfied getting gravel in his nuts.


The poet:

His hat is crooked – not smart – just crooked/ as if that's the way it should always be.

The poet says:

“These words coming out of me have anyway been inside others before/ like the air in

my lungs/ nothing new in that/ nothing new today/ friends grow older I see it in their

kitchen cabinets: Teflon pans/ crystal wine glasses/ machines to mince/ blend/ shred/

like Diether Roth did it/ with words: pieces of books/ newspapers/ periodicals mixed

with water/ gelatin/ fat and spices stuffed in gut

– of course it would be a German who makes the world's first book as a sausage.”

The poet writes:

I plant cress seeds in cotton on my window ledge.

There are houses that have hats on/ like the ones folded from newspapers and printed

with news about the world/ but most about/ just nearby.

The grass grows high when it is close to the sky/ - not knee high.

You are welcome to tear this text to pieces/ that has also been done before.

Louise Rosengreen is a Danish Writer, born in 1983, with a master’s degree in Danish and History. She debuted in 2007 with the poetry collection ‘Lydstykker’ (‘Pieces of sound’). She has contributed to a number of literary journals and anthologies, Danish as well as international, printed as well as online, and her poems are translated into Polish and English. These translations were supported by a grant from the Danish Arts Council.

Thomas E. Kennedy, translator and writer. His translations of poems by Danish writers like Henrik Nordbrandt, Dan Turèll and Pia Tafdrup have been published in "American Poetry Review," "The Literary Review," "New Letters," "MidAmerican Review," and "Absinthe: New European Writing." The novel “In the Company of Angels” was recently published by Bloomsbury USA & UK. He lives in Copenhagen. (www.thomasekennedy.com)