Anna Ruchat

Anna Ruchat

“Notte del capricorno” and “Prima di tutto”

Notte del capricorno

Night of the capricorn†† light
of reason††††††††††††††††††††† wait
† ††††††††††† †††††††††† maybe I donít know you
you drink lemonade
††††††††††††††††††††††† while passing
through the Gate of the Gods is the Year
††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† of the Goat

an earth immobile receives
††††††††††††††††††††††† new verse

over your frozen face† I see
††††††††††† tears of jade running
what is††††††††††††† hope now

††††††††††† Life?†††† Game?

be careful ††††††† dancer on barbed wire
††††††††††††††††††††††† donít deceive

sooner or later melts ††† the ice of Uranus

††††††††††††††††††††††† or the sun of March

††††††††††††††††††††††† and in the valley of death
††††††††††††††††††††††† germinate†††††††† the crocus


Prima di tutto

first always the children
with their bowls of blue milk
with their fragile wisdom
the children†††††† who need shoes
& hands†††††††††† & monotony
††††††††††††††††††††††† who dream our past
& watch
what they already know
††††††††††† & listen
to their story of tomorrow

first always the children
every night serving them††††††††††† the heavens
turning over the night wind
and listen again listen

first the children
and then
at the edge of the universe
††††††††††† in the ambiguity of the day
terrible angels†††††††††††††† & love without


Translated from the Italian by Stefan Hyner

Click here to read Italian versions of these poems

BIO: Anna Ruchat was born in Zurich in 1959.† For twenty years, she worked for Italian publishing houses as a translator from the German.† She translated mainly prose (Thomas Bernhard; the correspondence between Paul Celan and Nelly Sachs; Viktor Klempererís diaries 1933-1945; Kathrin Schmidt; and Norbert Gstrein, among others) and, in recent years, poetry (Stefan Hyner, Reidar Ekner, Philip Whalen).† In 2002, with Giona Beltrametti and Stefan Hyner, she founded the Franco Beltrametti Foundation.† She lives in Pavia with her two daughters.

German poet, translator & calligrapher Stefan Hyner studied Chinese & East-Asian Art History in Heidelberg, Germany & Taipei, Taiwan, & has travelled widely through China, Tibet, Japan & the Americas. His work has been translated into Italian, French, Swedish, Norwegian, English & Chinese. Since 1977 he has performed his work in many countries, often in collaboration with musicians & painters. He has taught poetry at the University of B in Norway & was guest lecturer at the Naropa Institute in Boulder & New College in San Francisco. Since 1987 hes been the editor of the poetry magazine GATE & since 1999 the literary executor of the Estate of the late Swiss poet Franco Beltrametti. Stefan Hyner has exhibited his calligraphy in various European cities, in solo & group exhibitions. He lives in Rohrhof, Germany, on the banks of the Rhine river, where he makes a living translating Buddhist literature & American poetry and working part time as a carpenter.

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