Sabine Lange has been in print in Germany since 1987 and this, her first full collection, appeared in 1994. Her poetry explores the human — particularly the female — condition in the light of her own experience as archivist, musician and poet, and is set against the backdrop of the beautiful and unspoilt Mecklenburg countryside in which she has spent most of her life.
Written in a deceptively simple language with short lines and striking images, Lange's poems can best be described within the canon of European writing as 'lyrical', occupying a territory that many English-language readers and writers approach with some hesitation.
Much of her work is set within the landscape, and against the backdrop of the seasons, with the ice and snow of the northern winter bringing a particular meditative beauty which is sometimes peaceful, sometimes dark. But Lange can be upbeat too, funny, whimsical, exultant. Her subject is often love — the approach of love, the momentous encounter, abandonment to love and abandonment in the wake of love — and music also inspires many of her poems.
The publication of The Fishermen Sleep, the first English translation of Sabine Lange's poetry, opens "a new chapter in Anglo-German poetic relations", and the English-language reader is the richer for it.
Parallel text, German / English
Published December 2005