Poem of the Week, week 21: Halldis Moren Vesaas "Sick deer"

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

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Sick deer
hidden powerless behind the leaves.
Lying as if lifeless,
its limbs stretched stiffly
– then the body, already deaf and blind,
suddenly twitches:
a command came,
one sense is still on guard. 

Sick deer,
forced out of lethargy, pulls itself
slowly through the grass,
whimpers from pain,
but doesn’t let go of the weak scent
alerting him that farther in
– a little farther inside the shadow grow
the healing herbs. 

Halldis Moren Vesaas

Translated by Ron Wakefield and Olav Thompson in Halldis Moren Vesaas, Selected Poems, edited by Ron Wakefield, White Pine Press, Buffalo, New York, 1989, p. 71.

See the poem in Norwegian

Poem of the Week

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