Poem of the Week: Hilde Myklebust – The Winter Light


The winter light soaked up
the remains of autumn
The fruit dried on the branches
It didn’t fall that year
It was so quiet and nothing fell
The air was too viscous to sink through

Still there were bird traces
on the river every morning
stippled lines the winter
could put its name on

Confirming that all shall fall
All shall fall and land
All shall land and die down
All shall die down and stiffen
like a bird to the ground

He was so sure
that the soul rose up
when the body died
That it became so light
Lighter that everything we know
Lighter than the first
flickering of snow in the air
Lighter than feather

The winter fell
And it was its name
that was written
along the bird tracks



Vinterlyset saug
bort siste rest av haust
Frukta tørka inn på greinene
Ho fall ikkje det året
Det var så stilt og ingenting fall
Lufta var for seig til å søkke gjennom

Likevel fanst det fuglespor
på elva kvar einaste morgon
Stipla linjer som vinteren
kunne sette namnet sitt på

Skrive under på at alt skal falle
Alt skal falle og lande
Alt skal lande og stilne
Alt skal stilne og stivne
som ein fugl til jorda

Han var så sikker
på at sjela steig opp
når kroppen døydde
At ho vart så lett
Lettare enn alt vi kjenner
Lettare enn den fyrste
flimringa av snø i lufta
Lettare enn fjør

Vinteren fall
Og det var hans namn
som stod skrive
langs fuglespora


Translated by May-Brit Akerholt

From Hilde Myklebust (1979), Kvar ein fugl, Det Norske Samlaget, Oslo 2018.

Poem of the Week. 52 poems throughout the year

Take part in a weekly journey through 52 poems by authors from Norway throughout 2019 – Norway’s year as Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

From the time when the earliest texts were recorded in runic inscriptions, poetry has had a strong position in Norway. By introducing a new poem each week throughout 2019, we aim to highlight the quality and breadth of Norwegian poetry. «Poem of the Week» presents 52 poems, inspired by the changing seasons and the passing of the year. The selection has been made by Tone Carlsen and Annette Vonberg, and consists of poems from the earliest handwritten manuscripts up until today, with a special emphasis on contemporary poetry.

You can find all poems in this series here. Read more about Norway as Guest of Honour at Frankfurt Book Fair here.

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