Monday, 21 November 2011

Another poem by Nils Ferlin

Not a single

Not a single grey little songster
that chirps on a green-leafed bough
is found in what lies beyond here
and the prospect seems sad right now.
Not a single grey little songster
and never a birch that stands white –
But on summer’s most beautiful day I’ve at times
even so wished it were in sight.

A haunting poem, partly because of the music by Lille Bror Söderlundh to which it is often sung. The language of the original is extremely simple and difficult to capture in English. The author has deliberately introduced an archaic, folk-song like tone by adding an inflectional ending to the word for 'green'.
To see the original Swedish, go to here. To hear Sven-Bertil Taube sing a snatch from it, go to here.

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