Saturday 21 April 2012

Poem by the Norwegian writer
Tarjei Vesaas (1897-1970)

There’s rowing and rowing

The day is past –
and there’s rowing and rowing

The dark mass of rock,
darker than the evening,
leans over the water
with black folds:
A caved-in face
with its mouth in the lake.
No one knows all.

There’s rowing and rowing,
in rings,
for the rock sucks.
Confused splashes on deep water.
Exhausted creaks from wood.
Confused and faithful soul that rows
and soon can be sucked down.

He too stands there
the other,
the one in the rock-folds
in blacker than black,
and listens outwards.
Paralysed with shame.
Stiffly listening.
Stiff with fright
for here there’s rowing.

Then there must be gusts and blue-gleaming
back and forth
like warm breezes
and like frost.

There’s rowing and rowing tonight.
There’s no one seeing and seeing.
No one knows
who licks at the rock
when it is dark.
No one knows the bed
of Lake Angst.
No one knows
who it is that cannot row.

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