Poem of the Week, week 52: Torhild Wardenær "Time for Presents"

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

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I live most graciously and magnificently, and at the turn of the year
it is time for presents – presents to Pater O, to Peter Pan, to mother, to the
kind grand uncles and all my friends, we will live for ever.

I give them the presents of eternity: a wild beast’s pelt, strong green lianas.
I have tamed a little time for them, I light candles, bind the lianas,
I read the texts, pause at the first paragraph, third line, chase off
the hounds of hell, everything that can torment them, scatter magic words
and devout prayers around me.
I take a zigzag route through the town, screw up my courage,
look at them with something that must resemble the look of the gods, gentle, thunderingly gentle.

But death holds sway, offers the anti-present,
the unacceptable, that which creates debt.

Torild Wardenær

Translation by John Irons at lyrikline.org

See the poem in Norwegian

Poem of the Week

Learn more about the series and see all poems here