The very first dusk in the air
is blue as ice and transparently clear.
No frost mist rises from the crust of snow,
but all is quiet, January all
and above the plain the moon’s sickle
cuts its thin slice of leaden white in the blue,
elusive dusk. Without sound
and without scent this winter landscape lies,
it is as if this wide plain always lay
like this, hiding who we were.
Yet though our fear is locked in silence
it still remains, beyond the clear
a nameless vision we cannot comprehend.
Den aller første skumringen i luften
er blå som is og gjennomsiktig klar.
Det stiger ingen røyk fra skaresnøen,
men alt er stillhet, alt er januar
og over sletten skjærer månesigden
sitt tynne snitt av blyhvitt i den blå,
ugripelige skumring. Uten lyd
og uten duft er dette vinterlandskap,
det er som om den store sletten lå
bestandig slik og gjemte den vi var.
Men om vår angst blir lukket inn i taushet
forblir det enda, bakenfor det klare
et navnløst syn vi ikke kan forstå.
From Carl Keilhau (1919–1957), Nocturne, H. Aschehoug & Co, Oslo 1955. Translated by Annabelle Despard.
Poem of the Week. 52 poems through the year
Take part in a weekly journey through 52 poems by authors from Norway throughout 2019 – Norway’s year as Guest of Honour.
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.