Thursday, October 30, 2008

as it stands in the memory...

"there he stands in sifting snow. in my thoughts in sifting snow. a father - and his winter-shaggy, brown horse, in snow.

his brown horse and his face. his sharp words. his blue eyes and his beard. the beard with a reddish tinge against the white. sifting snow. blind, boundless snow.

...

the boy stands inside his ring of wild animals, shovelling snow.

who is singing?

the horse is singing his song somewhere deep inside himself, and the man and the boy are dreaming their dreams. it has to be. the potent melody that the boy feels is coming in waves from his secret ring is another matter. he hears it as he shovels until his arms grow stiff.

...

the snow starts to fall again. the mist thickens.

and the ring of animals?

at this moment the whole ring of animals vanishes. they cannot be kept back. no use calling them. they will not be conjured up again.

the boy bears the hurt instead, a shapeless burden, but one that will settle for good.

the horse bears the burning hurt.

without a sound, like the others.

i am with man,
and no other than man.
i am with man
all day long.
i am the horse,
and this is my song."

three short passages from the first chapter of tarjei vesaas' 1968 novel, the boat in the evening. this first chapter is one of the most beautifully written texts i've read in a long time. i am trying to read it slower and slower and perhaps at least a dozen times before i go on with the book. i can only imagine the norwegian orginal being even more stellar...

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