Milton's ghost / garden sense


"the names are written on signs/the growth is tall and thick in
the garden everything finds its name/full with held breath
and rustling

what shall I say in a garden where everything has a name


yet another question: what
can I say?

justice requires imagination/requires
exposure/thus truth becomes profusion/it merely states what is there

once more and nothing else


in a garden where everything has a name nothing
is possible/but

does everything have a name?/does that garden exist?

in a garden where some things have names and some do not everything is

possible/everything humanly possible

in such a garden

nothing nothing human is foreign to it here is precisely



inside the fence/what can I say?



I give

buttons, fringes, umbels, leaves, bulbs, and pods their names to
enjoy them all the more and hear them rustle as the

buttons, fringes, umbels, leaves, bulbs, pods,
and berries

they are/and let them banish my dejection


a garden where I have called everything by its proper name

where I can give things their names/only at night at night is
enough/it is sudden salvation

here I will quench my namethirst


here I will rest armtangled


where I have called by its proper name/all that should be called

by name
and let the rest be

a waiting rustling place/what does it wait for? what does it wait for?

to speak of things that have no names

yet/which are so small/or to think of things so evil they no longer
have a name/with held breath/not
allowed to have a name anymore

should nothing
human be foreign to me? I hope so or else

I hope not


the profusion is always there/even when it is a 
profusion that no one seems to need


everything may have a name but
I could come up with new ones for the lot if I wanted because
I am awake alone so

green fans red beads blue/veils and reveals/healthy and unhealthy
night with steeplehigh lightning

and even universal laws feel voluntary/now
small tortoiseshell/dwell in my tiny tortoise




gardens seem more humane than
humans/with all their costumes

the special order


neither too much freedom nor too little

to speak is so human it is like the
avenue of sphinxes/speechless faces/stoneheavy meaning not one
word over the lips/while all forms/the trees the houses flowers and windows

and the neighbors’ curtains and the living rooms behind them maybe they are quiet
quiet living rooms

no one is innocent but some are pure and many
many do have wings


but the costumes

reality/which is why the unadorned is sphinx-like/like a thing without a name


the garden grows thicker and thicker

more and more hanging/full/dry

nametangled/is all that just ornament? it is
profusion/excess/ornament if ornament is inevitable/what can I say?


the garden is quiet before fruiting/tonight the names set


© 2010, Ursula Andkjær Olsen
From: Have og helvede
Publisher: Gylendal, Copenhagen, 2010

© Translation: 2010, Thom Saterlee
Publisher: First published on PIW, 2010