Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Last Believer In Words

Say More, Speak Like Rain
Arne Ruste

published in Poetry East
translated from the Norwegian by Olav Grinde

Am I perhaps 

the only believer now?

I believe in words

I believe in the carrying capacity 

of words in the power of their


I believe in

the parable, the paradox, the poem

and in the stories

of old men

told over fences, and I 

believe in the soft

things of this world, in wood and

clay, that they will outlive 

steel and concrete

human things are what I 

believe in, the penetrating

power of gentleness

and I believe in things

that take a long time to make,

like trees and books

but I no longer believe 

in the good deeds

of this world

I no longer believe
heroism, I believe 

and in words spoken by simple people,

simple words woven together

like baskets for carrying

I put my stock 

in stamp collectors 
and the owners

of small shops
country inns, carpenters 

and flower-women

There are no big

words in this world, only

loudmouths and demagogues

The collapse of words is a conceited fiction

Words hold everything together 

Words connect everything.

I believe 
in café talk and

in coffee-break talk

I believe in prayers, narrow

strips of words, weightless and golden

burnable, spread to the winds

I believe in 

confessions whispered in darkness

and in letters

I believe in ballads and in

curses of a sincere heart

I want

like deep axe cuts and clinging

mallets. I want 


like shiny stones in my pocket,

words like thrown arrows

I want words

like the years in a worn down 

table. Maybe I am the last 

believer now:

I believe in blind man's 

never faltering fumbling over a writing

of flaming points

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