Poem of the Week: Jan Jakob Tønseth – Night Dream

NIGHT DREAM

Memories
from a dream
are fast forgotten.
You can’t bring
them with you
into the day.
At night
you can well
be a hunter.
You borrow
a hunter’s heart.
Town-dweller!
Fully
you understood
a hunter’s heart.
You were soundless
in the deep forest.

 

NATTDRØM

Erindringer
fra en drøm
er fort glemt.
Du får dem
ikke med
inn i dagen.
Om natten
kan du godt
være jeger.
Du låner
en jegers hjerte.
Menneske fra byen!
Til fulle
forsto du
en jegers hjerte.
Du var lydløs
i den dype skog.

 

Translated by John Irons

From Jan Jakob Tønseth (1947–2018), Referanser (fjerne og nære), Gyldendal Norsk Forlag, Oslo 1979.

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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