Here, in this silent alley…

Edvard Søderberg: Poems of the Street

Here in this silent alley,
with the shine of many windows,
where behind tiles and blackened roofs
the night sky’s violet glows –

Here, when the day is past
I wander in the hours of dusk,
knows all again
and longs towards a time that’s lost.

Oh, I love these hovels,
chalked and grey and blackish,
these crooked, reddish walls,
these deep and creepy gates –

Love this gloomy alley,
the distant golden heaven,
the stars behind the rooftops,
the street and the buzz thereon –

These men and these women,
these drunks and beggars;
the wild birds of the lamplight,
these madams and these gamblers.

And I wander in this alley
listening to the evening sounds:
screams and fighting, women’s voices,
children’s cries and drinking songs.

Oh, I recognize these voices,
know them from past times;
strange they sound in the darkness,
a wild, confused complaint that climbs.

Now defiant, now in pain,
it never stills, just like the sea –
it’s the resonance of the depths,
it is the street’s poetry…