Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Werner Lutz

Distant September
distant flocks of birds

a dusty
lipless grin

too late in the year
too uncertain

to hear the slapping of waves
at the riverbank

words lightly bantered
a playful timelessness



Like a curse
this evening arrives
over the Rhine

the towers sink
in the muddy light

the sandstone towers
winding staircase towers
the towers
of the futile prayers

the cottonwood on the shore
woven with cobwebs
made of pleading
begging sounds

the lips taste
of a foreign voice

Werner Lutz was born in Wolfhaden, Switzerland in 1930, and is considered to be one of Switzerland's foremost living lyric poets.  He has been awarded numerous prizes for his work, including the Basel Lyric Prize (2010) and the city of Basel's Literary Prize (1996).  He has published ten collections of poetry and currently lives in Basel, where he works as a poet, artist and graphic designer. Marc Vincenz's translation of his collection, Kissing Nests was released by Spuyten Duyvil in 2012.

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