Poem of the Week: Gunvor Hofmo – Now is the summer…


Now has the Summer passed
over your streets with
puffing cool lips
spreading the sweet smell of the lilacs’
violet-wet clusters
and the lindens scenting the air
between the teeth of Summer
Your heart is far
from moon-pale whispering
among the leaves
far from the clenched fists
on closed gates
your streets are open, seeing,
with cool breath


Nå er Sommeren gått
over dine gater med
prustende svale lepper
blåser ut syrinenes ange
av våtfiolette klaser
og lindene dufter
mellom Sommerens tenner
Ditt hjerte er langt
fra måneblek hvisken
i løvet
langt fra de knyttede hender
som hamrer på
stengte porter
dine gater er åpne seende
med sval pust

From Gunvor Hofmo (1921–1995), Veisperringer, Gyldendal Norsk Forlag, Oslo 1973.
Translated by Annabelle Despard.

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.