Når du er borte – Tor Jonsson.

I have two favorite Norwegian poems, one of them I have already posted here and it’s Katten by Olav H. Hauge. The other one: Når du er borte by Tor Jonsson. Why never posted? Well, It’s quite something.


Når du er borte

Nærast er du når du er borte.
Noko blir borte når du er nær.
Dette kallar eg kjærleik –
Eg veit ikkje kva det er.

Før var kveldane fylte
av susing frå vind og foss.
No ligg ein bortgøymd tone
og dirrar imellom oss.

(From Ei dagbok for mitt hjarte, 1951)

*my translation*

When you’re away

Nearest you are when you’re away.
Aught becomes distant when you’re near.
This call I love –
What it is, for me it’s not clear.

Before were the evenings filled
with wind’s and waterfall’s fuss.
Now lies a remote tone
and quavers between us.


The poem itself is quite easy to interpret, you don’t have to spend hours like in high school some of us used to, dividing every verse and interpreting it separately. The poem is purely about love and its weird thing: that when your beloved is away, you feel a closer bond to him/her, and when they’re back: something is distant. The other verse is quite more difficult and more subjective to interpret in my opinion. I would say that when the beloved one is away, the evenings are filled with emptiness and now when he or she is back, there’s a distant tone between lovers, that resembles the distance that was before and made them even closer to each other. Anyway, that’s mine interpretation, if you have some suggestions, feel free to comment!

I hope you guys liked this little poem post. I haven’t done any poetry post in a while, and I know that there’s at least one person interested in them, so here you go. Have a nice weekend everyone! I’m flying to Croatia this night, and I will be there for a whole week – however, posts will appear regularly as previously, don’t worry.


Author: againorway

a dreamer trying to make a living in Norway

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: