03 June 2005

100 words on a poem: No.4

Kerstin Hensel’s poem ‘Fieberkurve’ brings together two image worlds: that of a nurse’s ward rounds and that of the Grimms’ Cinderella fairytale. Both the lime once used in birding and the Grimms’ doves which warn Cinderella of blood in the shoe represent the patient’s sense of threat. The feverish body is not that of an individual, however, but ours: the lyric voice is a ‘wir’, in a ‘them and us’ scenario, troubled by questions of guilt and innocence, peace and entrapment. Elevated temperature, pretext for the dream narrative, thus suggests charting an ailing community.

See Kerstin Hensel, Gewitterfront: Lyrik (Mitteldeutscher Verlag, 1991).