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NauenThen

Poem of the Week

Halldis Moren Vesaas (1907-1995) and her husband, Tarjei Vesaas, are both totally great. Here's one of her best-known poems, followed by a version by me based on the Norwegian & 2 translations, neither of which satisfied me. You can listen to it here (the clip is mislabeled). A bit of it was featured in a 2019 Norwegian movie I liked a lot called Barn (in English, it was called Beware of Children although "barn" means just "children"). 

 

 

Ord Over Grind

 

Du går fram til mi inste grind 

og eg går òg fram til di. 


Innanfor den er kvar av oss einsam, 


og det skal vi alltid bli. 

 

Aldri trenge seg lenger fram, 


var lova som gjaldt oss to. 


Anten vi møttest titt eller sjeldan 


var møtet tillit og ro. 

 

Står du der ikkje ein dag eg kjem 


fell det meg lett å snu 


når eg har stått litt og sett mot huset 


og tenkt på at der bur du. 

 

Så lenge eg veit du vil kome iblant 


som no over knastrande grus 


og smile glad når du ser meg stå her, 


skal eg ha ein heim i mitt hus. 

 

 

Words Over a Gate

 

You go up to my innermost gate

and I go up to yours.

Inside, we are each lonely

and always will be.

 

Never push yourself too far,

was the law for the two of us.

Whether we met often or rarely

the meeting was trusting and calm.

 

If you're not there one day when I come

I can easily turn away

after I've stood a while and looked towards the house

thinking about where you live.

 

As long as I know you will come again

as now over crackling gravel

and smile when you see me standing here,

I will have a home in my house.

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