Poem of the Week, week 48: Thorvald Steen "On the Ceiling"

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

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On the ceiling a fluorescent tube. An intense white light. The tube
flickers. Each time it flickers there’s a gentle pop. We are four
men in a room. The telephone stands in the middle of the shelf. The tube
flickers at regular intervals. It’s me who is speaking. It’s
morning. We’re at work. I am this body. It
breathes for me. Breathing makes one dependent.

Thorvald Steen

Translated by Hanne Bramness with Anna Reckin, revised from version published in Nordic Poetry Festival New York, Anthology, edited by Kajsa Leander and Ernst Malmsteen, Sweden, 1993, p. 87.

See the poem in Norwegian

Poem of the Week

Learn more about the series and see all poems here