Poem of the Week, week 29: Paal-Helge Haugen "the unknown"

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

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(the unknown)

an old man
down from the forest
axe in hand:
he stops and stiffens

words, sorrow
gravel on wood

clothes no one
will wear anymore

a sheep slung over the block
and a bucket under it

a newborn calf
that tries to get up
and can’t make it

someone you know
who’s put to bed
and fed with a spoon

and then an open door
and the sound of footsteps

Paal-Helge Haugen

Translated by William Mishler and Roger Greenwald, Stone Fences, University of Missouri Press, 1986, p- 24-25

See the poem in Norwegian

Poem of the Week

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