Trust

Trust
Five days the snow had lain
Deep as a boot. Mouths of ice
Hung from roofs and windows,
The river slid by like a wolf.

At noon I went out with crumbs
Cupped in one hand. As I crouched,
A robin fluttered from nowhere,
Grasped the landfall of my palm.

A rowan eye inspected me
Side on. The blood-red throat
Swelled and sank, breathing quickly,
Till hungry, the beak stabbed fast.

The robin finished, turned,
Let out one jewel of sound
Then ruffled up into the sky –
A skate on the frosty air.
Kenneth Steven
Reproduced by permission of the author and translators.
Trust
Five days da snaa hed moored
Deep is a böt. Mooths o ice
Drittled affa röfs an windows.
Da burn smootit by lik a hund.

At da heicht o da day I cuppit
Crumbs in ee haand. Is I cruggit
A redbreest flaachtered fae naewye,
Claa’d da noost o mi löf.

A berry ee glowered at me, spöred
Sidey-wyes. Da blöd-red trapple
Swalled an sank, pechin herd,
Till fantin, da neb stabbit fast.

Da redbreest feenished, turned,
Löt oot wan jewel o soond
Dan reffled up inta da lift –
A slidder on da rimey air.
translated by Christine De Luca
Tillit
I fem dager lå snøen
støvledyp. Isleppene (-kjeftene?)
hang fra tak og vinduskarmer
elven listet forbi som en ulv

Ved nonstid gikk jeg ut med smuler
I den ene hånden. Da jeg hukte meg
flagret en rødstrupe inn fra ingensteds
grådig mot landkjenningen (havnen) i håndflaten min.
(grådig mot en havn i håndflaten min)

Et rognebærøgransket meg
sidelangs. Den blodrøde strupen
svulmet og sank i forte åndedrag (andpustent)
til sulten tok over, og nebbets lynkjappe dolk.

Rødstrupen gjorde seg ferdig, vendte om,
slap en perlende lyd
og bruste inn i himmelen
et skøyteskjær i frostklar luft.
translated by Arne Ruste
Ymddiried
Eira pum diwrnod yn gorwedd
mor ddwfn â bwtias. Cegau iâ
yn crogi o’r to a’r ffenest.
Llithrai yr afon heibio fel blaidd.

Ganol dydd ês allan â briwsion
yng nghwpan fy llaw. Cyrcydais.
Daeth robin goch ar ruthr o rywle
a chydio yn ei lanfa, cledr fy llaw.

Cildremiai aeronen goch
ei lygad arnaf. Meginai
yr wddf waedgoch yn guriad gwyllt
nes I’r big awchus drywannu'n chwim.

Bwytodd ei bryd, a throi,
gollwng un perl o gân
cyn esgyn I’r awyr yn siffrwd o blu,
yn sglefren ar iaën y nen.
translated by Elin ap Hywel
Traust
Í fimm dag hafði fönnin legið
stígvéladjúp. Ískjaftar
ginu frá þökum og gluggum
áin leið hjá eins og úlfur.

Á hádegi bar ég út lúku af brauðmolum.
Sem ég kraup
kom rauðbrystingur flögrandi óforvarandis
og tók land í lófa mínum.

Reynibersauga gaumgæfði mig
frá hlið. Blóðrautt kok
svall og hneig, andstutt,
þar til soltinn goggur hjó eldsnöggt.

Fuglinn lauk sér af, sneri sér frá,
gaf frá sér eitt hljóðdjásn 
rauk síðan í hæðir -
skautaði um hrímgað loft.
translated by Thorarinn Eldjárn
Kenneth Steven

Kenneth Steven was born in Glasgow in 1968 but moved to Highland Perthshire during his schooldays. He has studied and taught in Norway, and translated from both Norwegian and Sami.

A widely published poet, novelist and children’s author, his collections of poems include A Song Among the Stones (2012), Evensong (2011), Island: Collected Poems (2009), Making the Known World New (2009), and Iona (2000). His translation of Lars Saaybe Christensen's Half Brother was a finalist for the 2004 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.

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Christine De Luca

Christine De Luca is a Shetland writer now living in Edinburgh. She writes her poetry in English and in Shetlandic, her mother tongue. She was appointed Edinburgh's Makar for 2014-2017.

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Arne Ruste

Arne Ruste lives in Son, a small fishing village in the neighbourhood of Oslo. One of the most prominent contemporary Norwegian poets, he is also a translator and reviewer.

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Elin ap Hywel

Elin ap Hywel, born in 1962 in Colwyn Bay, is a poet, translator and editor who works in Welsh and English. Formerly a translator for the National Museums and Galleries of Wales, she was the Royal Literary Fund's first bilingual Fellow at the University of Wales. Ffinau/Borders (Gomer, 2002), a volume of original poems and translations from the Welsh, is a collaboration with fellow poet Grahame Davies.

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Thorarinn Eldjárn

Thorarinn Eldjárn was born in Reykjavik, studied at the Univesity of Lund and then returned to Reykjavik to live. He is a poet, novelist, short-story writer, playwright, translator and children’s author, and describes himself as first and foremost a humorist. His subjects range from the pre-historic to present-day Iceland, and  with great skill and brio he combines traditional forms with contemporary references. His 'Disney Rhymes' (1987) satirised the life and work of Walt Disney using traditional ballad form, and became Iceland’s best-selling post-war poetry collection. His collected poems, Kvæðasafn, were published in 2008.

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