News from NORLA

Poem of the Week, week 13: Åse-Marie Nesse "The Harps"

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Enjoy a weekly poem by authors from Norway, throughout the year.


Our harps still hang from the trees
where we sat weeping by the river
in Babylon
the strings untuned in the wind
like severed nerves
or outstretched branches tapping
an unseen lattice

O our shattered harps –
once we were exiles
in vibrant grief.
We are back home now
lighting fires on the hearth
almost as of old
but we sing no longer

Åse-Marie Nesse (1934-2001)

Translated by Åse-Marie Nesse and Pauline Stainer

From The No-Man’s Tree, Selected Poems translated by Åse-Marie Nesse and Pauline Stainer, Making Waves, Guildford, Surrey, 1994, p. 23.

See the poem in Norwegian

Poem of the Week

Learn more about the series and see all poems here

Books from Norway provides you with English-language information about all genres of Norwegian literature. The information is provided by the rightsholders and NORLA.

Norway as Guest of Honour at Frankfurter Buchmesse

Norway was Guest of Honour at the Frankfurter Buchmesse 2019. Please visit our website for information about the project.

Frankfurt 2019