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This poem is taken from PN Review 267, Volume 49 Number 1, September - October 2022.

The Silent Songs of the Walls
Translated from the German by Karen Leeder
Ulrike Almut Sandig
of a chapel next to Tiefenau Castle, which is completely invisible,
as it was blown up in 1948, heard on a day in the twenty-first century with few visitors.


   I have the same number of words inside me
as all of you have words, the exact same number

but how many times can they be combined? you
keep finding words that no one sang before you.

   your godhead made you after his own image
   stark naked, blind – wild things that you are.

I am naked and blind too. my heart is of stone.
        you flit in and out, grow larger, have

 young and soon grow smaller again, smaller
until you can no longer be seen in your forests

 made of gold-leaf and stone. in sinus curves
 of a perfectly uniform tone you come and go

           come and go through the centuries.
    every one of your words I have stored in my

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