Poem of the Week, week 35: Mona Høvring "The nymphs went on their way"


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

THE NYMPHS WENT ON THEIR WAY The girls who returned as flowers woke up numb and thirsty in the forest, they drew closer to the light, and the light produced heat without wanting to be paid, the light lived in the plant bulbs, in the soil tubers, in the seeds, in the peace, and the peace lived in the mountains, the peace was vain, it had no enemies. And the girls swelled by the river, grew frivolous, lusted after apples all day long, apples that were the root of all sin, but the sin didn't exist, the sin had been abolished, it was as mythical as the headstrong sheep. Translated by May-Brit Akerholt
NYMFENE DRO SIN VEI Jentene som kom tilbake som blomster våkna numne og tørste i skogen, de dro seg mot lyset, og lyset produserte varme uten å ta seg betalt, lyset budde i planteløkene, i jordknollene, i frøa, i freden, og freden budde i fjella, freden var forfengelig, den hadde ingen fiender. Og jentene svulma ved elva, vokste seg frivole, hele dagen hadde de lyst på epler, epler som var grunnlaget for all synd, men synda fantes ikke, synda var avskaffa, den var mytisk som den stridige sauen.

From Mona Høvring (1962), Ekornet og den vaklevorne brua, dikt og salmer, Forlaget Oktober, Oslo 2010

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