The Austrian Riveter: TWO POEMS by Raoul Schrott, translated by Karen Leeder, introduced by Anna Blasiak

I first encountered Raoul Schrott’s poetry at the Poetry School course run by Karen Leeder. Apart from being a writer and a poet, he is also a researcher and an explorer. As a result, he often brings science and poetry together. His poems have been translated by various translators into English, but no book in English has appeared so far.


there is a terrace in a village on a cliff 
where lovers sit on benches hand in hand
and such a vista opens up before them spread 
over land and sea they might think that it belongs to them
	but if one peers into the depths it is as if
this other pull catches one in its breathless dread
just as it is when love lulls one into complacency:
one forgets the void right beneath one’s feet 
	so I lie watching you, ma chère,
in this hotel bed here on the market square
you dressed in almost nothing on the balcony
feeding pigeons on the street with sunflower seeds
then you turn back to me once more
thinking there is nothing left could wreck me to the core

trentinara 17. 6. 22


midday and winter across this flat land
the light slow and straight · not scattered with leaves: 
trees razor-sharp · monotonous grey fields
and the hard outlines of the houses as if held there 
one by one against the sky that vanishes at the edge 
with the dissolving sun · this is what i know of her:
face and shoulder on a few photos · the voice on the phone
what we say about other people · never the same
but for the names · everything attracts
but is not yet one or at home · at peace
only the day as far as it reaches · the distance to her
air bright as her skin so one can almost taste it
like the mistletoe berries freckles

buxtehude 28. 1. 17

By Raoul Schrott

Translated by Karen Leeder

From Inventur des Sommers (‘Inventory of Summer’)

by Raoul Schrott

Published by Hanser (2023)

Read The Austrian Riveter here or order your paper copy from here.

Buy books from The Austrian Riveter through the European Literature Network’s The Austrian Riveter page.

Raoul Schrott is one of Austria’s most successful writers: a polymath, translator from ancient languages, poet, novelist, dramatist, polemicist, academic, critic, and explorer. His most recent works include his 800-page epic poem Erste Erde (‘First Earth’, 2016) and the baroque travel novel Eine Geschichte des Windes (‘A History of the Wind’, 2019).

Karen Leeder is a writer and Schwarz-Taylor Professor of German at the University of Oxford. She is a prizewinning translator of contemporary German literature, including Evelyn Schlag, Raoul Schrott, Michael Krüger, Durs Grünbein, Volker Braun and Ulrike Almut Sandig, and has been awarded residences in the UK and Germany.

Category: The Austrian RiveterThe RiveterTranslations


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