Foto: Rolf M. Aagaard

By Steinar Opstad / Translated from Norwegian by Ingvild Burkey 


The High Priestess/Zweistromland, Anselm Kiefer


The shelves of charred manuscripts

speak of the land between two rivers

and of the reading goddess,

who interprets our lives as signs

and furrows her brow over us


In the most dreamless of times

we will again write poems in ashes

Yes, in ash shall the poems be written

and the rivers will mirror a bygone world

of plains with wild animals and grazing herds


Only when we have grown wiser than our oldest gods

will we find words for the loss

of all animal species all trees all plants

all the insects and the insects’ songs

and of the ways of loving which vanished with them


Incurable is love,

our only healer!

There is a night with no cure

There is a meticulous handwriting on a charred sheet of paper

The last human being is a reader


/ has during the last year collaborated with Free Word and Weather Stations. Now we are about to enlarge our partnership. In the weeks to come we will present translations of five Norwegian poems from our homepage at the Free Words website under the banner «On the Road to Paris». The Norwegian Association of Literary Translators and NORLA – Norwegian Literature Abroad – have supported the translations. You can read more about the collaboration between Free Word and NWCC here. This week we proudly present Steinar Opstads poem Library, translated from the Norwegian by Ingvild Burkey. 

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