Scandinavian poetry, part eight.

I am so facinated by all the insects and small animals there is to be found around us,
this little one took a rest on my veranda floor some days back. He reminds me of a King wearing his long soft velvet cape! A while back i read the book The sound of a wild snail eating and in summer The book of bees, it is such a facinating thing to learn more about the worlds of these tiny creatures...

A poem
by the norwegian poet Rolf Jacobsen (1907-1994)

Green light

Creatures that rustle in the shadows, all the crooked
deformed ones in the world, with tiny feet and far too many eyes,
can hide in the grass- that's why its there,
silent and full of moonlight among the continents.

I have lived in the grass among the small ones that resemble broken twigs.
From their towers of cowslip the bumblebees came like bells
into my heart with words of magic order.
The wind took my poem and spread it out like dust.

I have lived in the grass with the Earth and i have heard it breath-
like an animal that has walked a long way and is thirsting for the water holes
and i felt it lie down heavily on its side in the evening like a buffalo,
in the darkness between the stars, where there is room.

The dance of the winds and the great wildfires in the grass i remember often;
-the shadow play of smiles on a face that always shows forgiveness.
But why it has such great patience with us deep down in its iron core,
its huge magnesium heart, we are far from understanding.

For we have forgotten this; that the Earth is a star of grass,
a seed-planet, swirling with spores as with cloudes from sea to sea,
a whirl of them. Seeds take hold under the cobblestones
and between the letters in my poem, here they are.

Translated by Roger Greenwald.
From North in the world: Selected poems of Rolf Jacobsen.


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