Open 11am to 8pm
Royal Festival Hall (Level 5), Southbank Centre, LondonOpen Tuesday - Sunday from 11am to 8pm
In his nest of dry leaves the hedgehog has woken
his mind so suddenly filled with all the words he knows.
Counting the verbs, more or less, they come to twenty-seven.
Later he thinks: The winter is over,
I am a hedgehog, Up fly two eagles, high up,
Snail, Worm, Insect, Spider, Frog,
which ponds or holes are you hiding in?
There is the river, This is my kingdom, I am hungry.
And he repeats: This is my kingdom, I am hungry,
However he remains still like a dry leaf, too,
because it is but midday and an old law
forbids him sun, sky and eagles.
But night comes, gone are the eagles; and the hedgehog,
disregards the river and undertakes the steepness of the mountain,
as sure of his spines as a warrior
in Sparta or Corinth could have been of his shield;
and suddenly, he crosses the boundary
between the meadow and the new road
with a single step that takes him right into my and your time.
And given that his universal vocabulary has not been renewed
in the last seven thousand years,
he neither understands our car lights,
nor realises his forthcoming death.
I never had you and no doubt I never
will. A few words, an approach
like at the bar two days ago – nothing more. For me,
I must admit, I’m sorry. But we others,
the Art’s adepts, by force of concentration, can create
fleetingly, sometimes, a pleasure
that impresses one by being almost concrete.
Thus, in the bar, two days ago, with alcohol
helping me greatly in its kindly fashion,
that half-hour was for me profoundly erotic.
It seemed to me you understood, and deliberately
you lingered just a little. Now, what was there
was something very necessary, for, with all
possible fantasy and the magic of alcohol,
I had to see your lips as well,
I had to have your body near.
ah hubris, hubris
what does the wind do to you
lot you care
and the night, bedding down
slipping into you easy
lady when there are stars
does it help?
Once more I will greet the sun,
the stream that flowed in me,
the clouds which were my long thoughts,
the painful growth of poplars in the garden
which pass through the dry seasons with me,
the flocks of crows
which brought me the smell of the night farms
my mother who lived in the mirror
and was the image of my old age.
Once more I will greet the earth whose burning soul
is filled with the green seeds of my incessant passion.
I will come, I will come, I will come,
with my hair, the continuation of the smells of the undersoil,
with my eyes, as the dense experiences of darkness,
with the bushes I have picked in the wilderness beyond the wall
I will come, I will come, I will come
and the entrance will be filled with love
and at the entrance, once more, I will greet those who love
and the girl who is still standing there
at the threshold full of love.