(to Alfonsas Nyka-Niliunas)

‘My heart cracked
Like the window pane
from the bell‘s thrust.’

Oh Jenny
you walked with me in your dreamy way
along Hauffstrasse,
my lady out of a fairy tale,
blonde hair shimmered
in the Neckar breeze.
And what exactly were we doing
sharing those crazy moments?
Wild flower
plucked from Friedrich’s grave,
you wanted something more tangible
I fear
in your oh so sensual way.
You intoxicated me
with the strange fragrance
of your long sexy fingers,
the depth of your lips.
But you couldn’t understand
why I called you ‘Caroline von Schlegel’,
why I wanted to make love to you
in smutty Amsterdam
on a creaking canal boat
on soaking Prinsengracht,
when I could
have had you
all to myself
on your bed
at home.


Alfonsas Nyka-Niliunas was born in 1919 in the highland region of Lithuania. He studied Romance languages and literatures and philosophy at the University of Kaunas and the University of Vilnius. In 1944, as the Soviets encroached upon Lithuania, he escaped to Germany, where he lived in Displaced Persons camps until 1949, furthering his studies at Tübingen and Freiburg universities. In 1950, Nyka-Niliunas emigrated to the United States, He is considered to be one of the main émigré poets. He has published a number of books of poetry, has translated Dante, Virgil, Shakespeare, T.S. Eliot, Baudelaire and other important European poets into Lithuanian, and has been awarded many prizes, amongst them the Lithuanian National Prize for Literature.

the jingling geordie

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whitley bay, tyne and wear, United Kingdom
poet and raconteur