I want to send a dream far from here.
The swallows fly high there.
Perhaps your wheat ripens
and through the yellow oceans of rye
a slow humming sound of bread can be heard.
This is a world of water and stones,
my hand is without bread and I count its lines.
Poetry From the June 2007 issue: Those Cool Scandinavians
Harry MartinsonHarry Martinson
Harry Martinson was born at Jämshög in 1904. He was left an orphan at an early age and went to sea at the age of sixteen, spending six years of his life on board various ships and as a workman in foreign countries. It was from these travels and years of work in environments of all kinds that he later drew material and inspiration for his literary efforts--a couple of books of prose with glimpses, views and memories of the world of coal-heated ships during the 1920s. These accounts were followed a few years later by one or two books with an autobiographical strain and fictional recollections of a boarded-out child's existence, especially the child's own way of perceiving and trying to understand life and the people in it. Side by side with this psychological cognition of the childhood land of memory, there appeared some collections of poetry which were continued by degrees in a series of nature studies in prose, in which words and observation are combined in what the author has called "thinking out in the meadow."
In a later work, the novel Vägen till Klockrike, the description of the human side is devoted entirely to the relationship between the settled and the itinerant man within ourselves. A world of journeying in a still wider sense emerges in Aniara, an epic work about an imagined space flight with a perspective in depth towards our own time. In it, jostling for room in our consciousness, are our fears and our questions as to where we are heading, together with the planet that our generation is treating as it does. Harry Martinson died in 1978.
Translated from SwedishSwedish by Lars NordstromLars Nordstrom
Lars Nordström was born in 1954 in Stockholm, Sweden, where he lived until 1974. He was educated at the University of Stockholm and Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, where he received a BA in English in 1981. He then moved to Uppsala University, Sweden, where he received his Ph.D. in American literature in 1989. He is the recipient of several Fulbright grants, a Scandinavian Foundation grant for academic research in the USA, and several Swedish Institute grants and awards, as well as a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center fellowship. In 1988 he settled with his wife and two sons on a small vineyard in Beavercreek, Oregon. For many years Lars Nordström worked as a technical translator in the high tech industry, but now divides his time between growing wine grapes and writing and translating literature, as well as giving talks on various Swedish-American subjects. Lars Nordström has published prose, poetry, translations, interviews, articles, and scholarly materials in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Canada, Japan and the United States in magazines such as Studia Neophilologica, Horisont, the new renaissance, Translation, The Greenfield Review, Calapooya Literary Review, Hubbub, ICE-FLOE, Northwest Review, PRISM International, International Poetry Review, The Chariton Review, and WRIT.
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