Pattern Recognition

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I like to talk. And write poetry. I paint a little too.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Stars On Earth

I heard a poem I had forgotten, read on the radio. It is from 1934, Norwegian.

I thought I would try a translation and share it with you all.


Stars On Earth

It may well be that the dead
meet with deeper loneliness,
even vaster loneliness
than there is in our world.

That pull towards eternity
may well die in those who die,
and small moments of their lives
are to them like stars to us.

I don’t think the grander moments
are what souls will long for then,
not the things that generations
treasure of the deads’ dead lives;

no, for simple times that shine
like a single star in summer –
half invisible, but still
the precious heart of our day.

Cloudless summer evenings, maybe,
happily so like each other
that they coincide in bliss
as life’s only summer night.

Summer evening. Your road flows
like a calm stream through the wheat-field.
You walk home and you’re expected.
You’re expected, walking home…

Was there ever something better?
No, in death you will remember -
if you can remember then – only this:
coming home, where you’re expected.

Something tasty on the table
shows her thinking of you maybe…
Maybe other thoughts of hers
bloom in flowers by your plate.

’Turn the light on?’ ’We can still see…
Oh, why not…switch on the small lamp.’
Look, your wife! the lamp will tell you.
All is hers, and she is yours.

Are forget-me-nots forgotten
for their blue that blends with sky?
Happiness on midweek evenings.
Surely life’s the richer for it?

If the dead can want for something,
it must be these times they long for.
Yes, I know it must be this -
even though I’m not yet dead.

Gunnar Reiss-Andersen ("Livets lys" -- translated by Shisa)


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