“The Skerry” a poem by Knut Hamsun

The boat glides now
 towards a skerry,
 an isle in the sea
 with luxuriant shores.
 Flowers grow there
 never before seen,
 they stand like strangers
 and watch me moor.
 
 My heart has become
 a fabulous garden
 with flowers like these
 on the island now.
 They talk with one another
 and whisper strangely,
 like children meeting
 with laughter and bows.
 
 Perhaps I was here
 at the dawn of time
 as a white Spiraea
 waiting to be found.
 I know that fragrance
 from long ago,
 it makes me tremble,
 that memory profound.
 
 I close my eyes,
 the recollection fades
 my head onto
 my shoulder falls.
 The night is thickening
 over the island,
 the sea is thundering –
 Nirvana’s thunder calls.

My translation of “Skærgaardsø” from Det Vilde Kor, 1904

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