Poem of the Week, week 38: Tarjei Vesaas "Late, in the Yard"

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

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It’s been dark, with mist and rain,
this September evening,
and the circle of light in the yard has struggeled for life
and finally settled for borders rights here,
so now you’re standing as if in a big robber’s camp
from a book in your childhood.

This will never be anything but the familiar yard
glistening with a shimmer of grass for a late homecoming,
and framed by long housefronts that you barely see
at this hour, but know everything about.
They’re heavy as premonitions now,
these houses that in daylight are friendly wood.

It’s best to sleep behind wood.
You’re standing in a wet yard and know what you’re talking about.
No sound can be heard from anywhere,
for in here sleep is bottomless.
Children and grow-ups lie drowned
in the summer-sated sleep of autumn.

Tarjei Vesaas

Translated by Roger Greenwald, in Through Naked Branches: Selected Poems of Tarjei Vesaas, Revised Edition. Trans., Ed., and Introduced by Roger Greenwald. Boston: Black Widow Press, 2018, p. 27.

See the poem in Norwegian

Poem of the Week

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