Guest poem submitted by Lars Marius Garshol:
(Poem #1719) Antenna-forest
Up on the city's roofs there are large fields. That's where silence crept up to when there was no room for it on the streets. Now the forest comes in its turn. It needs to be where silence lives. Tree upon tree in strange groves. They don't do very well, because the floor is too hard. So they make a sparse forest, one branch toward the east, and one toward the west. Until it looks like crosses. A forest of crosses. And the wind asks - Who's resting here in these deep graves?
translated from the Norwegian by Roger Greenwald. I've thought about submitting a guest poem for a long time, but never really felt that there was much need, since other people cover so much interesting stuff. Today, however, it struck me that there is at least one interesting poem I know of that is probably much too obscure for anyone else to submit. It's by Rolf Jacobsen, perhaps *the* major Norwegian poet of the latter half of the 20th century. This translation is from "North in the World", a selection translated to English by Roger Greenwald. Unfortunately, it's not nearly as good in English, although I could do nothing to improve the translation myself. It sounds like there's a narrator speaking the poem; some wry, melancholy character, grieving for all the things we city dwellers have lost, and perhaps also those of us who are ourselves lost in the city. The use of man-made structures as metaphors for natural things like trees and forests just reinforces the point. I also like the simple, colloquial style, where the lines almost shine with poetic beauty in a way that makes you wonder where the beauty in phrases you could have said yourself comes from. (This is the part that doesn't come across as well in English, sadly.) The style reminds me of Robert Frost, but not so dressed-up, perhaps. -- Lars Marius Garshol