Poem of the Week, week 27: Sigbjørn Obstfelder "Summer!"


Take part in a weekly journey through 52 poems by authors from Norway throughout 2019 – Norway’s year as Guest of Honour.

SUMMER! Weave me a coat that turns crimson, spin it from mist, knit it from rays of light, dip it in carnation's blood! Weave me a dress that trembles – woven from aspen leaves, stitched with cobweb threads, buttoned with pearls of dew! Make me a belt that glitters – alluring will-o'–the-wisp, leaping flames sparkle on sky-blue soil! Sew me something that whispers! smiling buckles, summer bird wings – whimsical humming bird shoes! Translated by Nadia Christensen
SOMMER! Væv mig en kaabe, som rødmer, spind den af taage, knyt den af straaler, dyp den i nellikeblod! Væv mig en kjole, som skjælver – aspebladvævet, dugperleknappet, heftet med spindelvævtraad! Sy mig et belte, som funkler – lokkende lygtmænd, hoppende ildblus funkle paa himmelblaa grund! Sy mig saa noget, der hvisker! smilende spænder, sommerfuglvinger, – legende kolibrisko!

From Sigbjørn Obstfelder (1866–1900), Digte, John Griegs Forlag, Bergen 1893. The English translation comes from Scandinavian Love Poems, an anthology by Fritz König and Randi Marie Rösnes, Eget Forlag, 2007.

Poem of the Week. 52 poems through the year

From the time when the earliest texts were recorded in runic inscriptions, poetry has had a strong position in Norway. By introducing a new poem each week throughout 2019, we aim to highlight the quality and breadth of Norwegian poetry. «Poem of the Week» presents 52 poems, inspired by the changing seasons and the passing of the year. The selection has been made by Annette Vonberg and Tone Carlsen, and consists of poems from the earliest handwritten manuscripts up until today, with a special emphasis on contemporary poetry.

Poem of the week