Anders Dahlgren

Anders Dahlgren

Anders Dahlgren, born in Karlstad, Sweden, has spent the last two decades publishing and editing poetry. His interest for arts though, was aroused in early age and from time to time texts and songs were written but always stashed away in some drawer.

In the depths of these hideaways, sketchbooks with impressions that were made many years ago, texts depicting, amongst many other themes, the world, the sea that he has been obsessed by since early youth – the Mediterranean sea – was reread quite recently.

An example of what was occupying his mind in his early twenties may be seen below. The poem originally written in Swedish is here presented along with an English translation.

 
Pierre Loti

I remember how I – like all other mornings – tried
to gather my thoughts in cafe Pierre Loti
but also – like any other morning when the sun’s rays
competed to be the first to be reflected in the minaret –
felt that before I would dare me out
and face the cascade of hustle and bustle
that the sun thawed, needed to dream – if
only the time it took to drink another glass of wine.

Through the smoke of a nargile, I saw an old man sitting
at a limping wooden table and talk to something distant.
Maybe that he in his dreams touched the time he had his
brightest memories from … The time when he let the wind
bring out his boat on a silver glittering Mediterranean,
or when he, in youthful vanity, dressed to impress the pretty girls,
or perhaps his eyes told us that he had never been happier than
the time when he was still a child.

I guessed that he now had to beg to get something to eat,
but to call him poor …

Once outside again, I was dazzled when I saw the
amazingly beautiful Golden Horn lying at my feet.
I knew then that this must be a part of all I had to experience
to be able to sit here and drink my wine or smoke my pipe
as calmly and contentedly as the old man at Pierre Loti.

 
Pierre Loti

Jag minns hur jag, som alla andra morgnar, försökte
samla mina tankar på café Pierre Loti – men också,
som alla andra morgnar när som solens första strålar
tävlade om ynnesten att få spegla sig i Blå moskéns
minareter, kände att innan jag skulle våga
mig ut och möta den kaskad av liv och rörelse
som solen tinade upp, behövde drömma – om så
bara den stund det tog att dricka ännu ett glas vin.

Genom röken från en nargile såg jag en gammal man sitta
vid ett haltande träbord och tala till något avlägset.
Kanske att han i sina drömmar nått den tid han ägde sina
ljusaste minnen från … Den tid då han lät vinden
föra ut hans båt på ett fantastiskt, silverglittrande Medelhav,
eller då han i ungdomlig fåfänga klädde upp sig
för att imponera på de vackra flickorna, eller kanske att hans ögon
berättade att han aldrig varit lyckligare än den tid då han ännu var barn.

Jag gissade att han idag fick tigga för att få någonting att äta,
men att kalla honom fattig …

Väl ute igen blev jag bländad när jag såg det
undersköna Gyllene Hornet ligga för mina fötter.
Jag förstod då att det här bara vara en del av allt jag måste uppleva
för att kunna sitta här och dricka mitt vin eller röka min pipa
lika lugnt och förnöjt som den gamle mannen på café Pierre Loti.

 
All poems on this post: © Anders Dahlgren
Published with the permission of Anders Dahlgren