Wednesday 1 July 2020

Olav Nygard (1884-1924)

Nygard is himself within a clearly romantic tradition, but with a very distinctive tone. What most obviously separates him from the increasingly modernistic authors of his own time, is the archaic language he always uses. It is Nynorsk, but shaped by his own dialect and with a vast variety of words, many of them endemic to his own poetic production. (Wikipedia)

No reiser kvelden seg

No reiser kvelden seg i vesterbrun,
han trør paa lette føter gjenom tun
og skuggeveven fjell imillom hengjer.
Det gjeng ei kviskring gjenom kjørr og lyng,
og talatrasten skifter ljod og syng
med avdagsskjelven under sine strenger.

Men dagen tek sin gangar fast i taum,
tek ferdakaapa paa med gullrend saum
og burt fraa blaane etter blaane skundar.
Det gular gjenom svale dal og lid
der skuggen ventar natta, brura si,
og ør i sine elskhugsdraumar blundar.

Med linne andardrag stig natta inn,
med myrke lokkar kringum hals og kinn
og herdaduk av elvelette eimar.
Og kløkke lundar, æolsharpe-klang,
ris bljugt som gjenteborn or moderfang
og sviv paa lettan fot i svale heimar.

Det gjeng ein sælebiv imillom fjell
so fræa emnar seg og hamsar fell
og undrings-øre augo upp seg vender:
Or djupe himlar slær ein baaregong
av evig skapings-gir og sfæresong
som helsar frendeblidt mot døkke strender.

Now evening rises

Now evening rises at the western edge
through farmhouse yards his way he lightly treads,
hangs mountains inbetween with muted shading.
Through scrub and heather whispering’s heard soon
and as it sings the throstle changes tune
with twilight tremolo its call pervading.

But firmly of his steed’s reins day takes hold
puts on his great cloak etched with seams of gold
twixt far horizons hurries at light’s closing.
A breeze moves through cool vale and mountain side
where shadow’s waiting for the night, his bride
and swooning in his dreams of love is dozing. 

And breathing gently night then enters in
with dark locks round her neck and cheek’s smooth skin
and shawl of elfine mists that swirl so lightly.
And dulcet tones, th’aeolian harp’s sweet charms,
rise shyly like a girl from mother’s arms
and float in cool realms light of foot and sprightly.

A quiv’ring bliss is felt twixt mountains tall
so seed starts growing, skins are sloughed and fall
and eyes turn upwards dazed by some great wonder:
from deepest heav’n sounds swell’s surge full and strong,
the endless urge to procreate, spheres’ song 
that greets as kinsfolk those dark shores far yonder.

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