Poem of the Week: Inger Elisabeth Hansen – Run aground

RUN AGROUND

Anchor me to the roses, the nettle, to the boast behind the outhouse wall,
Anchor me to the oars, the scythe, the gushing waves of straw
pigweed, toadstools, who limes the meadow now?
Who limes the sea? Who fines water in sleep?
Here is iron-water for your oar, you who row yourself across,

you who dip the leaves in star sedge, in rust
you who part the turf where I’m waiting, are you me,
are you glued to me like wet clothes, ember-white, like
the wind’s jasmine, do you shine on me, do I shine of you
like the sea shines of june, I’m waiting with closed eyes

as if you were burning, do you give off life, give shadow to my
buttercup, my lily, heartsease, I’m longing you
white as the wind’s jasmine, you are my veil, my sheet

over the black water, you glide through dense mosses
adder’s tongue, algae wreaths, I have run aground here

GRUNNSTØTT

Fest meg til rosene, neslen, til båten bak uthusveggen,
fest meg til årene, ljåen, til sprutende brott av strå,
melstokk, paddehatter, hvem kalker åkeren nå?
Hvem kalker sjøen? Hvem finner vann i søvnen?
Her er jernvann for din åre, du som ror deg over,

du som dypper bladene i stjernestarr, i rust,
du som skiller torven der jeg venter, er du meg,
er du klistret til meg som våte klær, glohvit
som vindens jasmin, lyser du på meg, lyser jeg av deg
slik sjøen lyser av juni, jeg venter med lukkede øyne

som om du brant, avgir du liv, gi skygge til min
soleie, min lilje, natt og dag lengter jeg deg
hvit som vindens jasmin, du er mitt slør, mitt laken

over det svarte vannet, du glir gjennom gittermose,
ormetunge, kransalger, jeg er grunnstøtt her

From Inger Elisabeth Hansen (1950–), I rosen, H. Aschehoug & Co., Oslo 1993.
Translated by May-Brit Akerholt.

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.