rolf jacobson | when we sleep

21 10 2007


Poetry Dispatch No. 84 | June 28, 2006

When We Sleep by Rolf Jacobson

We are all children when we sleep.
There’s no war in us then.
We open our hands and breathe
in that calm rhythm heaven has given us.

We all let go of our lips like small children
and open our hands halfway,
soldiers and statesmen, servants and masters.
The stars stand guard
and form a haze across the vaults
—a few hours when none shall do each other harm.

If we could only speak to each other then
when our hearts are like half-open flowers.
Words like golden bees
would slip through
–God, teach me he language of sleep.

(translation by Olav Grinde)




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