Excerpted from Forty-One Objects: Prose Poems by Carsten René Nielsen
Published by The Bitter Oleander Press, 2020.
Copyright © 2020 by Carsten René Nielsen, translated by David Keplinger.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Carsten René Nielsen: Born in 1966, Carsten René Nielsen is a Danish poet and the author of eleven books of poetry and one book of flash fiction. He has won the Michael Strunge poetry prize, and three of his books have been translated into English: The World Cut Out with Crooked Scissors (New Issues, 2007), House Inspections (BOA, 2011), and Forty-One Objects (Bitter Oleander, 2019), recently longlisted for the 2020 National Translation Award in Poetry from the American Literary Translator’s Association. He lives in Aarhus.
David Keplinger: David Keplinger is the author of six books of poetry, most recently Another City (2018), which was awarded the 2019 UNT Rilke Prize, and The Long Answer: New and Selected Poems (2020). He is the recipient of the 2020 Emily Dickinson Award from the Poetry Society of America. He teaches at American University in Washington, D.C.
"One of the first Carsten René Nielsen poems I translated, now almost twenty years ago, was a little gem called 'X-Ray': 'She uses the tail of a fish skeleton as a fan. Musical tones pour out of her ears and float through the air like droplets; it is a room with no gravity. She dances slowly in place with her three most important tubes: the spine, and the windpipe, and the arms, which work as a balancing rod. Together they form three white lines in the dark. Her face is not seen.'"
—from David Keplinger's introduction