Wednesday 15 January 2014

A poem by the Norwegian writer
Thor Sørheim


After a thousand-year sleep willow-scrub
and bushes parted, and I was staring straight at
traces of hammer and chisel, furrows in the rock,
where our forefathers had hewn out
items for cooking vessels and stone for buildings
that would be graced with ornaments. There where the path

meets the sheer rockface under Piggåsen
a Viking society once climbed up ladders
and hung on ropes over the steep slope to extract
the new age from the soft rock. At the foot
of the soapstone quarry rose their daybreak dreams
of sales and exports for every pot
that was hewn out base first, history

was at stake and maybe the pots were
thread on sticks by their handles and carried
between two sleek shoulders over the moraine ridge
down to the boats in Glomma. When a thousand years later
I try to conjure up a picture, leaning against the quarried surface,
of the man tilting free the mouth-edge of the pot

from the mountain, I discover that the projection I am stroking
is an item that was never taken out, and the hollows

with water and the soapy crust that hardens gives me
no other answer than that one day our era too
will, with all our dreams and exploits, end up in some
far corner of the universe, like every creation myth,
beautiful, fully interpreted and unfinished.

No comments: