Two poems

Two poems – World Views: New Writing About Nature

Sigurdur A. Magnusson

Silence of Valleys

Silence of deserts is not the same as silence in solitary valleys between towering mountains with green shrubbery crawling up their slopes crooked sparse in some places frost-bitten

Silence hangs on invisible cords between mountains and single trills from thrush and golden plover float away like feathers into space

Mountains crouch above you like a maternal bosom a wisp of cloud snuggles up to them like a baby in swaddles and you are in accord with solitude as in mother’s womb

Night Mountains

I see night gather her mountains softly like a hen her chicks and cover them with transparent wings

They doze under her wings immovably silent as if brooding over evil omens or some strange anguish and are apprehensive of daybreak like the ogres of old

Is it witchcraft alluring me to them under the wings of night or some mystic hope of hearing Gunnar sing in the mound or Helgi take leave of Sigrun?(*)

My refuge is elsewhere yet for a while

(*) Gunnar is one of the heroes of Njal’s Saga from the 13th century, several times translated into English (e.g., Penguin Classics), while Helgi and Sigrun figure in one of the lays of The Poetic Edda (or The Elder Edda), also from the 13th century: “The Second Lay of Helgi the Hundingsbane.” The fourth printing of The Poetic Edda was published by The American-Scandinavian Foundation in 1957.

COPYRIGHT 1996 Fairleigh Dickinson University

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group