Inspired by an ongoing discussion with Matthew Keenan on surrealism and poetry in the Ereignis forum and elsewhere, here is a new translation of one of the earliest published poems by Tor Ulven (1953-1995).
Ulven’s early work is playful, with surprising turns and unusual imagery. The central figure in this collection is the urfugl, or “original bird,” whose shade has given name to the book. The Archaeopteryx or “Urvogel” (German), was a genus of avian dinosaurs. Unlike contemporary birds it had teeth and jaws instead of a beak. The name derives from the ancient Greek ἀρχαῖος (archaīos), ancient, and πτέρυξ (ptéryx), feather or wing. In Ulven’s lifetime Archaeopteryx was regarded as the oldest known bird.
In this poem imagery from paleontology and sorcery meet with Ulven’s unique world-view. Read the poem in full here.