Trafika Europe Corner: Three Poems by Guðrið Helmsdal, translated by Randi Ward

Morning Mountains

Morning mountains

Trails of mist
inhaling

The flight of white gulls

Morgunfjøll

Morgunfjøll

Pollamjørki
andar í seg

Hvítt likkuflog

In Storm Clouds

The eye of the sun

Glaring rays
into the waves

Hail shower
hits

Í Óveðursskýnum

Sólareygað

Geislar 
í aldunum

Heglingsæl
slær

Foggy Night

Fog, I see you come
towards me –
softly caressing
my skin.
Your tune
is a bit melancholy,
but your glistening smile
is so gentle, so kind!

Why do golden lodes sparkle
in your eyes?
Why is your hand cold?
Why is it grey?
If your heart is weary,
and your blood no longer sings,
then come dream with me,
you drifting mist.

Embrace me, bracing one.	
Come – together we’ll
restore the night – her darkness –
till she once again resonates
on taut strings
and blushes 
at shedding her shroud.

Mjørkanáttin*

Mjørki, eg síggi teg koma
mær ímóti –
kínandi mjúkt
holdi mínum.
Eitt sindur syrgin
tú syngur,
men smíl títt, tað váta,
er so blítt so blítt!

Hví glógva gyltir steinar
í eygum tínum?
Hví er hond tín køld?
Hví er hon grá?
Um hjarta títt er sovnað,
um blóð títt er stirðnað,
sveima tá við mær,
tú rekandi tám.

Tak um meg, tú svalandi.
Kom – saman skulu vit
fylla náttina – ta svørtu – 
til hon aftur tónar
á spentum streingjum 
og rodnar 
tá ið hon tveitir hamin. 

Guðrið Helmsdal is the first Faroese woman to publish a poetry collection in Faroese with her début work Lýtt ‎‎‎lot. Helmsdal’s poems are deeply ingrained in nature and our relationship to it. These three poems feel even more pertinent at the start of 2024. We approach a new year, hoping for the serene moments found in these poems. Whether absorbing a few rays of sun sneaking through the storm clouds or bathing in the cool mist of the fog, these poems remind us to take a moment and reconnect to our planet and our surroundings.

Faroese is the language of the Faroe Islands and is considered lesser-known in Europe. More Faroese poems by Kim Simonsen, translated by Randi Ward, are present in Trafika Europe’s newest journal issue, Essential New Literature of Lesser-Known Languages of Europe. This is our first bilingual publication ever, so we encourage you to check out literature in Cornish, Breton, Romani, Lemko, Latgalian, and more in original or in English translation.


Read previous posts in The Trafika Europe Corner series:

Three poems by Deniz Durukan – in Trafika Europe Corner II.11 by Andrew Singer

Three poems by Marius Burokas – in Trafika Europe Corner II.10 by Andrew Singer

Three poems by Franca Mancinelli – in Trafika Europe Corner II.9 by Andrew Singer

Three poems by Nina Kossman – in Trafika Europe Corner II.8 by Andrew Singer

Three poems by Alexander Kabanov – in Trafika Europe Corner II.7 by Andrew Singer

Three poems by Andrey Gritsman – in Trafika Europe Corner II.6 by Andrew Singer

Kosovan poet Fahredin Shehu – in Trafika Europe Corner II.5 by Andrew Singer

Three poems from Icelandic by Gyrðir Elíasson – in Trafika Europe Corner II.4 by Andrew Singer

Trafika Europe Corner II.3 – New Latvian poet Jānis Tomašs by Andrew Singer

Trafika Europe Corner II.2 by Andrew Singer

Trafika Europe Corner II.1 by Andrew Singer

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