Monday 18 June 2012

Poem by the Norwegian writer
Åsmund Sveen (1910-63)

  The boy lay in the grass

The boy lay in the grass in a big, big meadow under a sky of sun.
Around the meadow the big forest was black and heavy with shadows,
but the meadow was green with grass and blue with flowers-
And there in the grass lay the boy,
and the grass was full of blue flowers.

                  – The man came from the forest and the shadows
                  wading in through the meadow –

Naked the boy lay in the grass under the sky of sun.
He lay with eyes held shut against the sunlight,
but with mouth half-open in a wondering smile.
– The sun lay on his deep chest and in his open lap
and with hot fingers ran through his hair and over his face and limbs.
And strong scents from grass and plants and all the flowers intoxicated his senses,
and the sun ran with hot hands over his skin,
and the boy writhed in wantonness in the grass.

                  – The man waded through the meadow and dragged shadow behind him
                  and blackening deep tracks —

The boy writhed and turned over, his face to the earth.
And the grass waved above his head.
and the boy bit the ground,
and the grass-roots smelt coarse and intoxicating.
And the boy lay there long in the grass
and soft and pliant were his back and buttocks
and red and brown from the burning sun.
And the day was full of fire and fragrance,
and the sun’s hands caressed and beat
and the boy lay there writhing under the sun’s hands.
Then juices rose up from the roots of hidden abysses
and blue flowers turned red as blood.

                  The man came wading closer through the meadow
                  and heavy and cold was his shadow –

Juices rose from roots of abysses,
and blood-red flowers pounded and burned,
and the boy writhed under the sun’s lash.
And up from the abyss within him there rose a storm,
and the storm tore at his life’s roots,
and the boy stretched out heavily under the sun’s hands –

                  It was then that the man came wading up to
                  him through the grass –

The boy came to his senses and half rose,
and there was fear in his eyes,
and the sun’s fingers vanished –
and all the blood-red flowers –

                  It was then that the man’s shadow fell
                  over the boy –

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