I Am a Field Full of Rapeseed, Give Cover to Deer and Shine Like Thirteen Oil Paintings Laid One on Top of the Other (Hardback)
Shortlisted for the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize 2021
‘we find ourselves deep in the future of fairy tale.
we are the offspring of our own imaginings.’
Ulrike Almut Sandig’s second volume of poems to be translated into English is a journey through a world that is imaginary yet entirely recognizable. Precise observation of the concrete is mixed with playful humour, inspired musicality and an anxious reckoning with undercurrents of violence. Borrowing from the Brothers Grimm, the collection explores the darker side of their fairy tales as a backdrop for very contemporary concerns: Migration, war, the rise of the new right, ecological threat, information overload and political apathy. At the same time, Sandig plays with the German meaning of the word ‘Grimm’: rage. That emotion permeates the collection as a reaction to the darkness in the collective German consciousness. Yet the book is also animated by the passionate, expansive empathy—and reminds us what it is to be human. Always inventive, Sandig teases us here with multiple versions of the self, and multiple voices all in search of the origins of poetry in hidden places: in the silence before language, in the wings, in the field of rapeseed deep in the snow.
‘Karen Leeder’s translation of Ulrike Almut Sandig’s innovative 2016 poetry collection allows space for a startling variety of distinct speakers. Characters from Grimm fairy tales wait beside voices recognisable from present-day bus-stop and street. The fairy tale theme (wolves, Hansel and Gretel) runs throughout this collection, the first half of which deals boldly with conflict and war crimes in recent memory. Leeder shapes a polyphonic work where Fitcher’s bird bathes in honey before butchery and priests lift from the ground. The title of this book is a beauty in itself, making it an excellent clue to what lies within.’—Judges’ citation for the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize
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