Remeber when I wrote about finding the weird statue or stone thing on little island in Hamar? If you haven’t read that, here’s link. As I promised, I will put the translation of the poem that’s on it, and all the information that I could gather about it. Enjoy!
Before translating the poem directly, let me go more historically into it and check who’s exactly this abstruse Lars Saabye Christensen. Before checking out any page on the net, I assumed he must be Danish, because in modern Norwegian names there aren’t any double a’s. And yes, he’s technically Danish, however, he was born in Oslo and speakes and writes in Norwegian, so we can say he has double nationality.
He’s a modern poet, born in 1953, and has quite a collection of artworks. He debuted in 1976 with a volume of poetry called Historien om Gly. He writes works nowadays also, his last work came out last year actually, and it’s a novel called Byens spor.
Going back to the actual poem, it is said that it was written exactly on 22th of July in 2011, so quite recently. This fragment, that’s on the stone, isn’t the whole thing (which is quite understandable), so I’m going to translate the whole thing. This poem is said to be placed on 50 sculptures made by Nico Widerberg and they are around whole Norway (!). I must admit, this is quite a creative way to put your poems to the world.
So gather your flowers
Into a wide bouqet
Gather your light
To see through the darkness
Gather your happiness
To carry all crying
Gather your hope
To hold on the dream
Gather your thought
To bear all doubts
So gather your man
Gather your neighbours
Gather us together.
Rammet av flamme og skygge slipper jeg alt jeg har i hendene
Tingene mister sin vekt – himmelen mister sin farge.
Vind mister sitt seil
Tankene mister sin mening – og ordene sin kraft
Natten mister sin morgen – dagen mister sin sol
Sorgen er et hardt materiale
Vi er sorgens arbeidere
Vi hamrer den, vi bender den og bøyer og former den
Til vi ser…
Sorgen har ikke tilbakevirkende kraft
Å minnes de døde er å huske dem slik de levde
I øyeblikk og år, i timer og sekund.
Å ære de døde er å oppfylle deres liv, selv om ingenting blir det samme
Rammet av flamme og skygge slipper vi alt vi har i hendene
og løfter en rose
Rosen har rett…
*** (translation) ***
Hit by flame and shadow I drop all I have in the hands
Things lose their weight – the sky loses its colour.
Wind loses its sail
Thoughts lose their meaning – and words their force
Night loses its morning – day loses its Sun
Sorrow is a hard fabric
We are the workers of sorrow
We hammer it, we fold it and curve and form it
Until we see…
Sorrow doesn’t have evoking force
To remember the deceased is to memorise them as they lived
In a moment and a year, in hours and seconds.
To honor the deceased is to fulfill their lives, although nothing becomes the same
Hit by flame and shadow we drop all we have in the hands
And pick up a rose
The rose is right…
All the translations are done by me, so my apologies if there’s something wrong in them, I tried my best. Hope you enjoyed this little post and have a nice weekend everyone!