:: Article

Mundi & other poems

By Tóroddur Poulsen.

You

you’ll be
put
in a diaper
and
tended
by rubber gloves

and stare
at a blank
television screen
all day long
because it’s so nice

remembering
how riveting
the snappish
shut-up
sound
of the black
electric meter
was when
it was first
installed
out in the hallway

tú verður
lagdur
í blæu
og
røktaður
av gummihandskum

starir
allan dagin
at sløkta
sjónvarpinum
tí tað er so fínt

minnist
hvussu bergtikin
tú vart
av nýggja
svarta
ravmagnsteljaranum
úti í gongini
við sínum
snurruta
innikleimda
ljóði

Almost

almost
wrote
the word
that lies
but can’t
stand
because
it died
in the
washing
machine

Mundi

mundi
skrivað
tað orðið
sum ikki
kann
standa
men
liggja
tí tað
doyði
í
vaskimaskinuni

Mouth

a mouth
full
of toothless rage

got stuffed
with crumbled
letters

it spewed
all over the churchyard
the following day

during a downpour of faith

and though the blessed sun came out

midges filled you
with fresh doubts

then before you know it
it’s thundering again

and lightning says
life’s as short

as this

Munnurin

ein munnur
fullur av
tannleysari øði

fyltist
við morlaðum
bókstavum

sum dagin eftir
blivu spýttir út
yvir allan kirkjugarðin

har trúgvin oysti niður

og so kom tann sæla sólin

men mýggjabitarnir
fingu teg aftur at ivast

áðrenn tú veitst av
gongur toran aftur

og snarljósið sigur
at so stutt sum tað

er lívið

Red-Hot Day

a red-hot day
under slanting walls
where book dust
phlegm and words
rally to the beat
of a heart
that wants out
to go sledding
and then pound
inside the snowman
it built
to that end

Glóðheitur Dagur

glóðheitur dagur
undir skrávegginum
har bókastøvið
slímið og orðini
fylkjast í takt
við hjartað
sum vil út
at skreiða
og síðani duka
inni í kavamanninum
tað evnaði til tað sama

Tóroddur_Poulsen_by_Randi_Ward

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tóroddur Poulsen (1957) is a pioneering Faroese writer, graphic artist and musician. He grew up in Tórshavn, the capital city of the Faroe Islands, during a period of intense socioeconomic and cultural transition. Since his debut poetry collection, Botnfall (Dregs, 1984), Poulsen has published forty books and become an inimitable force in Nordic literature. Fjalir (Planks, 2013) earned him his sixth nomination for the Nordic Council Literature Prize.

ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR
Randi Ward (1982) is a writer, translator, lyricist and photographer from West Virginia. She earned her MA in Cultural Studies from the University of the Faroe Islands and is a recipient of The American-Scandinavian Foundation’s Nadia Christensen Prize. Ward is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee whose work has appeared in Asymptote, Beloit Poetry Journal, Cimarron Review, World Literature Today, Vencil: Anthology of Contemporary Faroese Literature and other publications.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Saturday, February 14th, 2015.