Sunday 28 November 2021

Edvard Hoem: 'Musikken er det som varer, tar slutt og begynner igjen'




The music is that which lasts, which ends and starts up again.

A child cries in the kitchen, the notes rise up through the tears.

A young girl runs through the garden,

the music hangs over the hedge once more,

and later when night comes the song sounds from darkening shores.


So naked the time of youth was that I was touched by rings on the water

so free was that summer, free, like the smell of newly washed clothes!

So light was that breeze, so light,

that I walked through the forest and called:

– I’m coming now, coming to you!


As soon as I’ve stopped and thought and can turn and smile,

it occurs to me that the summer, that one and all of them

manage without me. Spring bursts out in my absence,

smiles spread out, times surge like great waves

through space without my causing their motion.


Gentle night breeze, you leave not a trace

as you pass on over the roof tops.

Morning glints of sunlight are stings in blue air,

snow crystals fall without purpose.

Your hands that are stroking my skin

will be there when I am no more.


All we’ve amassed will be lost, all we’ve raised up will fall down,

but as we slow down and stop, the music still pours out,

light as a dance, as heavy as a sea’s wave,

carefree as is a sorrow that’s overcome,

comforting as a good mother.


Some things pass, all passes sooner or later,

but that it existed once is our consolation,

and as we step aside, new generations bow as they enter,

thank the time that is past, bow to that which is to come,

then we hear the music, far from the shore to which we long,

closer than a sigh, lighter than a stretched-out hand,

the music is there, full of joy, full of sense,

and thus we become familiar with our lot.


It is not too early, and not too late.

Now the music plays for us, as if we came right on time!

The day now draws to a close, the night is the music

calling from another place, with dark, gleaming eyes.


The sky spreads its velvet cloth over the world where humans dwell,

the music is heard, fleeting like a stretched-out hand,

distant as a secret sorrow,

in all that is and is to be, we who came so fast and must fast depart:

The music is that which lasts, which ends and starts up again.

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