Diwan over the Prince Emgion
March 15, 2016, 10:37 am
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(and my favorite, favorite poet)

In my dreams I heard a voice:
– Habib, would you like this onion
Or just a slice of it?
At this I fell into great disquiet
This enigmatic question
Was the question of my life!
Did I prefer the part to the whole
Or the whole to the part
No, I wanted both
The part of the whole as well as the whole
And that this choice would involve no contradiction.

-Gunnar Ekelöf


It is the dark that contains all the colors… -Gunnar Ekelöf

It is the dark that contains all the colors
Not the light
Even if it be the saffron-yellow for a bride
Or the blood-red for a harlot
What else are colours but shadows
Or shades of light?
Lay colours on top of each other and you get black
The purest vision
Is pure shadow
The opposite of light

If you look right into the sun
Or a white hot iron
And then shut your eyes
Only then will you see colour
The true colour of the blood
Which is your own, inward

Dark, tarnished are all colours
Except the black
Which can never become darker
In it you see me.

On Ekelöf
July 20, 2012, 7:18 am
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“Ekelöf has no desire to create some inclusive cross cultural synthesis in his poetry. He traces no historical path, no philosophical dialectic. Rather poetry is a carving process, an eroding. His work discards, it peels away layer after layer of distanciation, of cultural sediment, of simplicity, of expressive cowardice. This process is obscene, it is personal, exposed. All the more obvious to Ekelöf that this be the only way to reach the truly human, that which is universal to us all. Those that walk this path discover they are alone but watched in their solitude by others, and this is the only comfort available to them. Better this than the placebo of religion or intellectual anaemia.” -Steven Fowler

If You Ask Me – Gunnar Ekelöf
April 26, 2012, 4:59 pm
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If you ask me where I am
Well I live here beyond the mountains
It is far but I am near
I live in another world
but you live in it too
It is everywhere, as rare as helium
Why do you ask for an aircraft to travel in
Ask instead for a filter for nitrogen
a filter for carbon dioxide, hydrogen and other gases
Ask for a filter for all that separates us
a filter for life
You say that you can hardly breathe
What of it! Who do you think can breathe?
Most of the time we take it equably
A wise man has said:
“It was so dark that I could barely see the stars.”
He only meant that it was night.

Late on the Earth
December 31, 2011, 12:00 pm
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“I literally used to walk around with a revolver in my pocket. Illegally, for that matter. In my general despair I did everything possible to remain in my dream-world – or to be quickly removed from it.” –Gunnar Ekelöf