Poetry Depot

March 23, 2011

Ulf Stolterfoht, contemporary German poet

Filed under: German — razvan @ 7:31 pm

Ulf Stolterfoht has studied German literature and philology in Tübingen and Bochum.
Even before the publication of his debut volume in 1998, his poems already appeared in various journals and anthologies.
Winner of the PEN Award For Poetry In Translation, 2008
Lingos takes as its playground all the cultural baggage of our turn of the century and examines it with a mix of deconstruction, parody and sheer exuberance. The poems flaunt their intent to avoid linearity, prefabricated meaning and the lyrical I. Instead, they cultivate irony, punning, fragmenting, juxtaposing, distorting, and subject everything to an almost compulsive humor — the author and his own methods included.
Ulf Stolterfoht was born in 1963 in Stuttgart and now lives in Berlin with his wife and three children. His 3 books of poems are all called Fachsprachen [lingos, jargons, technical terms] and are all published by Urs Engeler Editor:

Fachsprachen I-IX (1998), Fachsprachen X-XVIII (2002), which received the Hans-Erich-Nossack-Förderpreis and the Christine Lavant-Preis respectively, and most recently, in 2004, Fachsprachen XIX-XXVII, for which he received the Anna-Seghers-Prize in 2005 and a stipendium to the German Academy in Rome.
From 2008 to 2009 he was professor at the German Literature Institute in Leipzig.
Stolterfoht lives in Berlin.
From Burning Deck.


what still remains of “songless” — “an earnest bird”

brings up. no earnest bird discusses what

seemed essentially the fact. he as it were cancels

himself out. you mentally shake your head. you nod.

you say i see. this must the essence of negation be.

and what’s confusing at a second glance:… NO X




HORSES (… carry you away) at a third holds

up and fast. no one horse holds so fast.

eleven horses or else nine: carry

you away. just as no ten. they hold you

fast. then let’s have at it at no zero

horses — to sidle/bridle up! a matter




(to remove last lingering doubts): not not to be

neglected. not to forget: forgotten. to

hunger. simply done. resolved: to cut

the bread. forgets. is now (the bread harder

and harder) to cut to be called to “saw”?

may your speech be yea yea / nay nay!




what’s likewise hard to clarify: if probably perhaps

exists. tendency: perhaps. probably not.

but here you quickly stand alone. and can’t help make

a stand for “nonsense absolute” as having making

sense some. unprofitable enterprise: not only not

to say not / to do un. but then its beauty too.



Other Poems can be read in the Fascicle.

1 Comment »

  1. Thanks for posting this Stolterfoht translation! I think he’s important. Though he has been described as being ‘slippery’, and I guess for good reason. Part of what makes him so interesting.

    Comment by leifhendrik — July 1, 2012 @ 2:23 pm

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