Through Naked Branches by Tarjei Vesaas

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Tarjei Vesaas, one of Scandinavia's greatest fiction writers, has been less well known as a poet. Now Roger Greenwald, an award-winning translator of Scandinavian poetry, presents forty-six poems drawn from Vesaas's six volumes of poetry. This selection is intended to reveal the distinctive sensibility and voice of Vesaas the poet. The Norwegian texts appear facing the English versions, which won the American-Scandinavian Foundation Translation Prize.

The translator's groundbreaking introduction explores why Vesaas's poetry has often resisted critical analysis and how it challenges received notions of modernism. Excerpts from Vesaas's writings about himself and his work supply helpful background and give some sense of the man behind the work. Vesaas emerges as a lyric and meditative poet of uncommon depth, who renders states of being beyond the reach not only of discourse, but of most poetry as well.

From "The Boat on Land":

Your still boat

hasn't got a name.

Your still boat

hasn't got a port.

Your secret boat on land.

From "Shadows on the Point"

We stand here in your deep night, Night,

and wait for something new from beyond the point.

The current runs black and silent.

And what we feel through it

we don't tell each other.


About Tarjei Vesaas

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Published March 6, 2000 by Princeton University Press. 184 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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