Poem of the Week, week 47: Inger Hagerup "Dies Irae"

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

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Mute is the final hour, and all that lives
drifts helplessly to its destruction then.
The earth itself kneels down, awaiting mute
the final portent and the final death,
while men with narrow, scrutinizing foreheads
and thin lips, work with test tubes and with plates.
They make their dreams of the catastrophe,
unbarring great apocalyptic gates.
Then breaks earth’s brittle shell, and dire
combustion joins all elements in fire.

Inger Hagerup (1905-1985)

Translated by Martin S. Allwood in 20th Century Scandinavian Poetry, Sweden, 1950, p. 168.

See the poem in Norwegian

Poem of the Week

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