Poetry. Translated from the German by David Chorlton in a bilingual edition. "Writing sometimes in rhyme, sometimes in free verse, Lavant employed directness in her language. I have chosen more of the free verse poems to translate and when there is rhyme I find it preferable to hold on to tone and meaning than attempting to replicate the echoing sounds. The use of sun and moon and stars would easily become a cliché were it not for the unusual slant in the work. So strong was Lavant's connection to the commonplace elements that moon and stars become symbols illuminating her particular, troubled road to Heaven. Even glancing at first lines in several of the poems here displays this tendency: 'The moon's halo was never so large... I hear the heavy moon approaching... Ever closer to the Milky Way's edge... The moon's signal light.'"—David Chorlton
"As with Rilke and Dickinson, Lavant addresses herself only to the highest tribunal. In her dark night, she lays bare what is most essential and most human. In this way, her work exists outside of time, and is always heralding the news of our raw incarnation. Written at the advent of an uncertain age, Lavant continues to accompany us with her fierce interrogations—which will also endure long after us—in these elegant translations by David Chorlton."—Ellen Hinsley
Born in 1915 on July the fourth, Christine Thonhauser (Lavant) was the ninth child of a miner, Georg, and his wife, Anna, and grew up in poverty. While the poetry she was later to write contained the language of spirituality, the pain she described in it came from actual conditions which she suffered: scrofula and tuberculosis of the lungs. Being disadvantaged in health also meant she could not complete her education as intended. Unable to do hard physical work, she earned a living with knitting and weaving until she gained a reputation as a writer. Along with these health problems, she had depression to endure. Poor hearing or blindness in her poetry were not conjured metaphors for a general condition.
Author City: CARINTHIA AUT