Michael Krüger: Seasonal Time Change. Selected Poems
translated by Joseph Given
Our twice-yearly daylight savings holiday, in which we faithfully, collectively adjust our clocks, is purely human tampering with the calendar. Yet it is a practice that is embedded in nature’s principles, even as we exact more sunlight for ourselves in an over-organized, technological world. Mirroring this dichotomy, Michael Krüger brings us Seasonal Time Change, a collection of poems where an exacting eye is cast on nature. The poet’s perspective is observant, stringent, and very human, bringing both intellect and emotion to the page. Translated by Joseph Given, the verses are in turn scrutinizing, wistful about the brutality of nature, and rejoicing in the simple wonder of life.
Bearing witness to Krüger’s interactions with renowned poets and artists through his time as director of Hanser Publishing, proximity and relationships are ongoing themes in this volume. Together, the poems remind us of our own mortality and of the finiteness of nature, but also our need for celebration even—perhaps especially—in times of darkness.
German original published by Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin, under the title Umstellung der Zeit in 2013.