Singing by Anne-Sophie Olsen


To give an honest reaction to the world
one must leave room for an honest reaction.
Let us not talk, now, of things reasonable.
I want to be singing my melancholy
song, I want to be humming
like the hollow skull of a bird I saw
picked clean and shining
and buzzing with bluebottle flies
which flashed in and out of the empty sockets—
angrily, almost, but they were not
angry, only obedient, cleansing
the bone from the stink of death, freeing it
into immaculate whiteness, so that
emptied at last of what it was not,
it lay there—the skull—a perfected organ,
breathing in and breathing out
the sad, sweet song of the world.

by Anne-Sophie Olsen

Editor’s Note: This poem’s imagery explores death, but instead of grim tragedy, the reader instead finds beauty.


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