Poem of the Week: Inger Hagerup – Oh, These Violet Hours of the Morning


Oh, these violet hours of the morning
when time is still a wakeful dream
and happiness runs large in shining swarms
gleaming in currents of the mind.

With earth and sky a single translucent
proof of your own breathing being,
all is good, and nothing is important
bar shiny things you want to do

with this unborn something resting in you
and calmly longing to be used,
wings of baby birds that carry with them
their summer sky and blissful soaring flight


Å, disse fiolette morgentimer
når tiden ennå er en våken drøm
og gleden går i store, blanke stimer
igjennom sinnets klare understrøm.

Når jord og himmel er en gjennomsiktig
bekreftelse på dét at du er til,
og alt er godt og ingenting er viktig
unntagen noe skinnende du vil

med dette ufødte som hviler i deg
og rolig lengter etter å bli brukt,
som fugleungens vinger bærer i seg
sin sommerhimmel og sin himmelflukt.

Translated by May-Britt Akerholt.
From Inger Hagerup (1905–1985), Strofe med vinden, H. Aschehoug & Co, Oslo 1958.

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.