Benny Andersen

Happiness

By Benny Andersen

There’s something special about happiness
you can be really glad
when you feel it
but also anxious
you freeze for a second
then slowly step forward cautiously
like in a minefield
and every time you put a foot down
without being blown up
you either forget to enjoy your happiness
or you’re upset over not knowing
how long it will last
so when adversity finally appears
it’s a relief
like you’ve made it to safety again
it’s a shame
because there’s something special about happiness
that you don’t otherwise come across
maybe that’s the problem
we don’t know it well enough
should learn more about it
I think it’s a matter of training.

By Benny Andersen ©1964 “Lykken”
Translated by Michael Goldman
Previously published in The Cincinnati Review