Wednesday, 1 January 2014

In praise of the everyday

Hyldest til Hverdagen is by Danish writer Dan Turèll. A version with music by Halfdan E is included on the album Pas På Pengene.  Here’s my translation:

In Praise of the Everyday (Hyldest til Hverdagen)
by Dan Turèll

I’m fond of the everyday
most of all I’m fond of the everyday
The slow awakening to the familiar view
that all the same is never quite so familiar
the family’s at once both intimate and after sleep’s distance unfamiliar faces

morning kisses
the smack of the post landing in the hall
the smell of coffee
the ritual wandering to the shop around the corner
after milk, cigarettes, newspapers –
I’m fond of the everyday even through all its irritations
the bus that clatters outside in the street
the telephone that incessantly disturbs the loveliest blankest standing-still nothing in my aquarium
the birds that chirp from their cage
the old neighbour who looks in
the kid who has to be fetched from nursery just as one is getting going
the constant shopping list in the jacket pocket
with its steady demand for meat, potatoes, coffee and crackers
the quick little one at the local
when we all meet with the shopping bags and wipe the sweat from our brows -
I’m fond of the everyday
the daily agenda
also the biological
the unavoidable procedures of bath and toilet
the obligatory shaver
the letters that must be written
the rent demand
balancing the chequebook
the washing up
the recognition of having run out of nappies or tape -
I’m fond of the everyday
not in opposition to festivity and colour, high times and hullaballoo
have that as well
with all of its leftover cinders
so much unsaid and approximated
floating and hanging in the air afterwards
like some species of psychic hangover
only everyday’s morning coffee can cure -
fine enough with parties! There’s all the room for euphoria! Let the thousand pearls bubble!
but what happiness it is afterwards to lay yourself down
in rest’s and everyday’s bed
with the familiar
all the same not quite so familiar
same view.

I’m fond of the everyday
I’m wild about it
stop the clock I’m so fond of the everyday
I’m so stinking fond of the everyday . . .


The above is based on the Danish CD booklet. Other published versions are less sparing with the punctuation. This translation first appeared on the blog in April 2009 as part of a longer post.

Homage to the Everyday copyright © The Estate of Dan Turèll.

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