After a long summer hiatus from me, I’m back with a translation of Nordahl Grieg’s Oktoberaften på Karl Johan. The poem comes from his 1925 collection Stene i Strømmen (Stones in the Stream).
October Evening on Karl Johan
From the Norwegian of Nordahl Grieg
Dizzy my red heart, as down I come
from Slottsparken’s rain grey mist into
the street fantasy.
Dazzling arc lights a hundred white moons
stiff in flight in the space here
above Karl Johan.
Rain sinks streetward
the shine back of the lights
tram lamps stripe wet trees.
Dazzling the letters over the darkness
spelling F R E I A
tigers fanning out in the autumn evening.
Phosphorescence dark & sizzling
the fire of youth crawls along the cold coast
of buildings —
The air charged with mockery, light without cease.
here our street,
the pining dodging night,
where swirling heart, & fire light burns,
where nerves get played to death, singing violins
pain & it’s own cheering because of