In her translator's preface, Marina Roscher tells us the work of Sarah Kirsch is a 'powerful and poetic presence' - intense, with richness and density. It is an extraordinary poetry of images: pictures, scenes, seasons, of a nature already lost to us which this poet evokes with her exquisite ability to convey the dreadful softly. Two very special things to admire about these fine translations: first, the translators have kept the associational thought that goes on in these poems, so the quiet images can achieve their subtle illogical magic without any artificial linkages imposed from outside; and second, the translators have kept left-hand capitals but stripped the poems of any right-hand punctuation throughout, which seems right. The effect of these technical considerations is that the poems all have a curious suspension, as if they were going headlong towards an endless emptiness. Sarah Kirsch was born in 1935 in Limlingerode/Harz. She studied biology in Halle, and literature at the Johannes R. Becher Institute in Leipzig. She lived in East Berlin until 1977, when she moved to West Berlin. She now makes her home in the countryside of northern Germany, not far from the Danish border. Among her many prizes and awards are the Petrarca-Preis; the stipend of Villa Massimo, Rome; the Staatspreis fur Europaische Literatur, Austria; and, the Friedrich Holderlin Preis.
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