Seasonal Time Change
Our twice-yearly daylight-saving holiday, in which we faithfully, collectively adjust our clocks, is purely human tampering with the calendar. Yet it is a practice that is embedded in nature’s principles, even as we exact more sunlight for ourselves in an over-organized, technological world. Mirroring this dichotomy, Michael Krüger brings us Seasonal Time Change, a collection of poems where an exacting eye is cast on nature. The poet’s perspective is observant, stringent and very human, bringing both intellect and emotion to the page. Translated by Joseph Given, the verses are in turn scrutinizing, wistful about the brutality of nature, and rejoicing in the simple wonder of life.
Bearing witness to Krüger’s interactions with renowned poets and artists through his time as director of Hanser Publishing, proximity and relationships are ongoing themes in this volume. Together, the poems remind us of our own mortality and of the finiteness of nature, but also our need for celebration even—perhaps especially—in times of darkness.
‘Seasonal Time Change: Selected Poems, Krüger’s latest book to be translated and published in English, presents almost exclusively short poems in which the beauty and iniquities of nature often mirror the unvarnished ironies of human endeavor, and is an accessible, excellent introduction to Kruger’s poetry for an American readership. Most poems in Seasonal Time Change are well under a page, precise in image, deft, witty, and wryly jaundiced in their view of the poet’s world caught between a desultory urban idyll and nature’s unsentimental image.’—Rain Taxi
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