Poem of the Week, week 35: Inger Elisabeth Hansen "What is your loved one, before the loves of others?"

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

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Who asks what my loved one is, before the loves of others?
He is an open field, a gurgling spring,
a fragrance of fried eggs in one’s hair, braised butter and night

he comes to life in my arms, there are roe deer here, beneath the apple tree.
there are bees and solace, red rowanberries, there’s sufficient here,
hyssop, rosemary, the skin of my scalp, look! A traversed mountain

steeped in bone white! Has someone been here tonight?
Who has been here spilling black in between strands of hair?
Has the night blown old stars in his hair?

Has night held him in his arms and blown heat into his hair?
A breath black from collided stars?
No one has reaped the apples: the muzzles steaming at the fruit!

There are roe deer here, frost and waxwings, quivering, chirp,
falling dust, Stars! I hold him dear, for he is
the love of others.

Inger Elisabeth Hansen

Translated by Verne Moberg in Nordic Poetry Festival New York, Anthology, edited by Kajsa Leander and Ernst Malmsten, 1993, p. 41.

See the poem in Norwegian

Poem of the Week

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