Monday, 30 January 2017

A famous poem by Karin Boye

Yes pain is what’s felt

Yes pain is what’s felt when buds burst open.
Why should spring otherwise choose to linger?
Why should the fiery heat of our desire
stay bound in what’s frozen, palely bitter?
The bud was so well hidden throughout winter.
What newness is this that’s so all-exposing?
Yes, pain is what’s felt when buds burst open,
pain for what’s growing
                                 and what’s now closing.

Yes it can feel hard when drops are falling.
Shivering with fear, heavily hanging,
cleaving to their branches, swelling, sliding –
pulled down by their weight they go on clinging.
Hard to be unsure, afraid, divided,
hard to sense the depths’ seductive calling,
and yet remain there and simply quiver –
hard to wish to stay
                                 and wish for falling.

Then, when at its worst, with all help failing,
as if in rapture tree’s buds burst in clusters,
then, when there’s no fear left to be endured,
the drops on branches fall in gleaming lustre,
forget that what is new once made them quail,
forget that they were anxious at the journey –
feel for an instant perfectly secure,
rest in the reliance
                                 that creates the world.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Translation of 'Kvardag' by the Norwegian poet Olav H. Hauge



and here is a man collecting twigs and leaves for animal fodder = bera ris (in the original poem):


Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Hans Christian Andersen and 'The Leapers'

Gulliver's voyage to Lilliput serves mainly to satirise the British system of selecting rulers and their general lack of democracy. In Lilliput an important office is usually filled by the applicant who can jump the highest and decorations are awarded to the best leaper and creeper.



The Swedish writer Gunnar Harding - poem from 'Guillaume Apollinaire's fantastic life'


Hans Christian Andersen and the joys of travelling


Monday, 2 January 2017

'Unwilling-willing blind' - a sonnet by Dèr Mouw

Unwilling-willing blind to world’s bright dance,
through wildwoods of ideas I grub-like crept:
through reeking, murky reaches no wind swept
no beauty pierced, askew, with sun-forged lance;

full-coloured French and German’s stringy plants
with fibres filled my caterpillar maw;
daunted and tempted, I set out to gnaw:
Baumgarten, Fichte, Strauss and Rosenkranz.

My autumn stormed upon me; and I spun
a thick cocoon from endless, drab distress
to shut the world out. Silently and long

I waited. Till I left the chrysalis
and flit through nature now and my own song:
Your yellow swallowtail, Oh Brahman’s Sun!