Poem of the Week: Torgeir Rebolledo Pedersen – As times change


In the case of baptism or death
As light falls in or out

As times change from dream to day
in the wardrobes of dawn

As times change
from sleep-talk to speech

As space changes
As numbers seize the word

Speeches of towers that will rise
of eyes that will burst

Of hearts that will be carried away
of sects that will follow the ways of sects

Of heads that will roll
Of towers that will fall

In the hour of reckoning
Of numbers that will be hatched and smashed

In case of death or baptism
time has a dress somewhere

The way the light
has sacristy in its prism

Where an almost invisible glow creeps in
and steps out in full regalia



I tilfelle dåp eller død
Etter som lyset faller inn eller ut

Etter som tidene skifter fra drøm til dag
i demringenes garderober

Etter som tidene skifter
fra søvnsnakk til tale

Etter som rommene skifter
Etter som tallene tar ordet

Taler om tårn som skal komme
om blikk som skal briste

Om hjerter som skal henrykkes
om sekter som skal følge sekters gang

Om hoder som skal henrulle
Om tårn som skal falle

I regnskapets time
Om tall som skal klekkes og knuses

I tilfelle død eller dåp
har tiden en kjole et sted

Slik lyset
har sakristi i prismet

Der et nesten usynlig skinn kan krype inn
og stige ut i fulle pontifikalier.

Translated by May-Brit Akerholt.

From Torgeir Rebolledo Pedersen (1949–), Geitehjerte, Forlaget Oktober, Oslo 2006.

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.