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Danmark, trofast

Original Text

Danmark kommer

ikke frem på kommando,

næh, det blir siddende

i hullet.

Vuf, sir det

og man lokker:

Kom så

kom kom kom

men Danmark går bare

længere ind i hundehuset.

Der sidder det så

og kigger på Bornholm

klør sig lidt i Skamlingsbanken

snuser til Anholt

og lår en vind gå

nede ved Fanø.

Det regner selvfølgelig udenfor

så hvorfor ulejlige sig?

man skal have fat i Danmark

og prøver igen:

Go lille vovse,

kom nu frem.

Svaret er kun en svag knurren

eller er det et spørgsmål?

Hvad skal jeg bruges til?

Bruges til og bruges til

ja, hvad ved jeg?

Måske skal du klappes

Danmark

måske ha et spark bagi.

Måske skal vi ud og løbe sammen

en rask tur henover Lillebælt

hvad med et kig på

Hindsgavl, slottet

husker du

deroppe på bakken

flagstangen

det er altid sidst i maj

og der står Frantz Wendt

med fem svaner i favnen

og digtere spiller på harpe

i en pavillon af glas

og der står en fuld mand

yderst på broen

støtter sig til verden

gennem strålen af urin

der går fra ham til bæltets vand

han er også digter.

Danmark

ville du ikke gerne se det?

Danmark brummer atter

og stikker Skagen frem

og virrer med Hals Barre

siger vuf igen

men blir siden large

og siger: „Vuffer?"

Jo, det skal jeg sige dig, du gamle

det er sjovt at se på Danmark

det skal ikke gøres alt for tit

men en gang hvert tredvte år

må vovsen ud at ses på

ud at se.

Heja, Danmark

du skal løfte ben i egnen

omkring Kolding

og gø en gang

så Læsø ryger om til Hven.

Kom så dasse lille Fido

fatters Trofast

du skal luftes lidt!

German

Dänemark, treu
Translated by Lutz Volke

 

Dänemark kommt

nicht auf Kommando heraus,

nee, bleibt ruhig sitzen

in seinem Loch.

„Wuff", sagt's,

und man lockt:

„Na, komm schon,

komm, komm, komm",

doch Dänemark verzieht sich nur

tiefer in seine Hundehütte.

Da sitzt es nun

und guckt auf Bornholm,

kratzt sich kurz am Skamlingsbanken,

schnüffelt in Richtung Anholt

und läßt einen Wind streichen

unten bei Fanø.

Wie gewöhnlich regnet es draußen,

warum also sich aufraffen?

Nun,

man will Dänemark bei sich haben

und versucht's noch einmal:

„Komm doch, mein Hündchen,

komm heraus."

Die Antwort ist ein leises Knurren,

oder ist's eine Frage?

„Was hat man mit mir vor?"

Was man vorhat, was soll

man denn vorhaben?

Vielleicht will man dich streicheln,

Dänemark,

vielleicht bekommst du einen Tritt.

Vielleicht machen wir einen Lauf,

eine flotte Tour übern Kleinen Belt,

was hältst du von einem Sprung nach

Hindsgavl, dem Schloß,

du weißt,

auf dem Hügel,

die Fahnenstange,

es ist immer Ende Mai,

und dort steht Frantz Wendt,

fünf Schwäne im Arm,

und Dichter spielen Harfe

in einem Pavillon aus Glas,

und ein Betrunkener steht

am Rand der Brücke,

sucht Halt in der Welt,

gestützt auf einen Strahl Urin,

der ihn mit dem Belt verbindet,

auch er ist ein Dichter,

Dänemark,

hast du nicht Lust, das zu sehen?

Dänemark brummt abermals

und streckt Skagen heraus

und dreht den Hals Barre,

sagt nochmals „Wuff",

aber läßt sich dennoch herab

und fragt: „Woruff?"

Ja, das will ich dir sagen, mein Alter,

Dänemark sehen ist eine Freude,

es darf nur nicht allzu häufig sein,

doch, sagen wir, jedes dreißigste Jahr

muß Schnuffi raus und sich sehen lassen,

raus und sehen.

Hopphopp, Dänemark,

du sollst dein Bein

bei Kolding anheben

und kräftig bellen,

daß Laeso davonfliegt bis nach Hven.

Komm, alter fauler Fido,

Herrchens Treu,

du mußt ein bißchen an die Luft!

  • Country in which the text is set
    Denmark
  • Featured locations

    Bornholm  Skamlingsbanken  Anholt  Fanø  Lillebelt  Hindsgavl                                            Skagen  Hals  Kolding  Læsø  Hven

  • Impact

    Patriotic songs and poems (Fædrelandssange) can surely only be written by those with an intimate relationship to their homeland. And yet even when they are, are such works always Heimatlieder, the kind of “songs of home” often characterized by a sentimental tone? This is certainly not the case with Klaus Rifbjerg’s work. Although the poems in this collection can be seen as expressing a deep affection for something beloved, they do so in a way that is completely unsentimental and at times even somewhat brittle. And in fact this was precisely what was demanded by a conservative Danish politician in the mid-1960s, who argued that poets should for once write songs dedicated to their fatherland. Rifbjerg responded to this call in his own way and not, of course, to the satisfaction of conservative thinkers. As one scholar puts it, Rifbjerg confronts his inner, psychological landscapes with their external counterparts. Jørgen Bonde Jensen, Klaus Rifbjergs poesi, Copenhagen 1986).

    What is Denmark in the poem Danmark, Trofast? It is an endearing puppy that one would like to pat. It sits in its kennel, not trusting itself to really venture out or too lazy to do so. Before it all of Denmark lies, with its lovely landscapes, cities, villages and islands. A pleasing land, a poetic land, embodied by Frantz Wendt, director of the “Norden” association dedicated to cultural collaboration between the Nordic states, which is symbolized by five swans and headquartered in Hindsgavl Castle on the island of Funen. But why does this “trofast” quality, this loyalty, hide itself from the world? Danmark, Trofast is a declaration of love for the fatherland and motherland and gives poetic voice to Rifbjerg’s more matter-of-fact statement, “I am a Dane through and through.”

    The widely travelled, rambling poet can never cut the ties binding him to his homeland, for this is the land of his childhood. It is to this primal soil that the writer always returns. Kronborg Castle of Hamlet fame is not sung of as the fortress facing Sweden across the Øresund but as something that suggests the memory of a school excursion, a feeling of, among other things, boredom and weariness. Don’t we all remember this from our own outings with parents or our school class? Nevertheless, it is part of a spiritual landscape, a source of strength to which Rifbjerg repeatedly returns — childhood.

    And then there is Skagen, the picturesque landscape where the North Sea and the Baltic (or more correctly the Kattegat) meet. A landscape characterized by the unique quality of light that enchanted the painters of the late nineteenth century. Rifbjerg’s poem Skagen virtually recreates the paintings themselves: artist Peder Krøyer with his wife and dog taking an evening stroll on the beach, or the Skagen painters together at table, raising a glass to life and art. This, too, is part of Rifbjerg’s spiritual landscape. It was there, on the tip of Jutland, that he spent holidays as a child, and where he still spends his summers. Skagen — a moveable feast. However, there is also “a hint of death” in the air. And it is here that the present breaks into the poem: idylls, the land of fairytales — that was once upon time.

  • Balticness

    Anyone born on an island cannot help but have a relationship to water. And anyone born on the island of Amager, which forms part of Copenhagen’s extension into the Øresund, will always be drawn to water, whether to the Baltic, the North Sea or the Mediterranean. In Denmark you are always close to the sea and it is therefore hardly surprising that water is a central motif of Rifbjerg’s poems. In his work the country and its surrounding waters represent an existential elixir. His “fatherland songs” are reflections of his own being.

    Lutz Volke

  • Translations
    Language Year Translator
    German 1991 Lutz Volke
  • Year of first publication
    1967
  • Place of first publication
    Copenhagen