The Woodchopper

By Cecil Bødker

Insidiously you go at it
with the growing things,
ravaging without care
the forest vegetation.

The ridge reversed
ripped up by the roots.
Defenseless Woods
living voice of the earth,

tortured by draft
and harsh light
where you storm forward
on trampling runners.

Desolate lies your field
axed to death by your anger,
bit of ash under your foot
your crumbled revenge.

You will never find quiet,
storm,
not before you acknowledge openly
the vanity of your strength.

By Cecil Bodker, “Træfælderen” ©1956
Translated from Danish by Michael Goldman