Poem of the Week: When You Come Home – Tone Hødnebø


When you come home you dream
you are walking home, it’s snowing, and you dream
it’s snowing, the wood is murky, and you want to run

to where the light sifts
out through the high windows onto the snow.
Under the door a note with a message:
you shall find the others

in another dream.
A door swings open, and your father
enters to tell you you are grown up,
you almost nod,

for you sleep sweetly, for
you can no longer distinguish the dream from
your own breathing.



Når du kommer hjem drømmer du
at du går hjem, og du drømmer
at det snør, skogen er dunkel, og du vil løpe
tilbake igjen

til lyset siver
ut gjennom de høye vinduene og ut på snøen.
Under glipen i døren en beskjed på et papir:
du skal finne de andre

i en annen drøm.
En dør går opp, og faren din
kommer inn og sier du er voksen,
du nikker nesten,

for du sover med et godt hjerte, for
du kan ikke lenger skjelne drømmen fra
ditt eget åndedrett.

From Tone Hødnebø (1962), Stormstigen, Kolon Forlag, Oslo 2002. In English translation originally published in The Other Side of Landscape. An Anthology of Contemporary Nordic Poetry, edited by Anni Summari and Nicolaj Stockholm, Slope Editions, New York 2006. This is a revised version by Anthony Barnett, 2019

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.