My new poems podcast, Words by Winter, can be found here.
A couple of days ago I went looking in my files for a long poem by Li-Young Lee, two lines of which were haunting me. The poem popped up in a journal from twenty years ago, a journal I have no memory of keeping, and I spent the afternoon reading the entire thing. All the questions that bedeviled me then still bedevil me, and I ended up shrugging and thinking Well, I guess you’ve always been who you are, Alison.
That same day, a friend sent this beautiful poem. It felt familiar to me the way some poems do, as if you were born knowing them, so I went searching through my emails only to find that I’d sent it out as the Poem of the Week almost ten years ago. Another mental shrug. All the dreams we carry, and keep carrying.
This Is the Dream, by Olav Hauge, tr. by Robert Bly and Robert Hedin
This is the dream we carry through the world
that something fantastic will happen
that it has to happen
that time will open by itself
that doors shall open by themselves
that the heart will find itself open
that mountain springs will jump up
that the dream will open by itself
that we one early morning
will slip into a harbor
that we have never known.
(in the original Norwegian)
DET ER DEN DRAUMEN
Det er den draumen me ber på
at noko vedunderleg skal skje,
at det må skje —
at tidi skal opna seg
at hjarta skal opna seg
at dører skal opna seg
at berget skal opna seg
at kjeldor skal springa —
at draumen skal opna seg,
at me ei morgonstund skal glida
inn på ein våg me ikkje har visst um.