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Quiet

by Ulrike Almut Sandig
Translated from German by
Bradley Schmidt

but always these sad, sad poems:

in the southernmost city i can possibly imagine
they still think of SOUTHPOLE, hoping to drift
on pack ice, making purchases in fur boots.
but even so: NOWHERE is there as much
laughter as here, nowhere smoked
worse. but the raven laughter

always sounds like the laments of children
before one of the first thunderstorms, before eight.
towards evening the poems tug at the light.
by night there is laughter + little + little
grows quiet

Born in Großenhain, Germany, in 1979, Ulrike Almut Sandig started publishing her poetry by pasting it on construction fences. She has published three volumes of poetry, a story collection, and two audiobooks of poetry and pop music. Her second story collection, Buch gegen das Verschwinden (The Book against Disappearance), was published in 2015. Her poems have been translated into many languages, including the chapbook Missing Witness (Ugly Duckling Presse). Sandig lives with her family in Berlin.
Translator
Bradley Schmidt grew up in rural Kansas, where he studied German literature before moving to Germany. He is based in Leipzig, working as a freelance translator and editor, as well as teaching translation and writing classes at Leipzig University. His translation of Lea Schneider’s Invasion in Reverse received an honorable mention for the 2019 Cliff Becker Book Prize in Translation. He is coeditor at No Man’s Land.