Barley Field

By Olav H. Hauge

Translated By Robert Bly Read the translator's notes

An old woodcut of the London Bridge   
and a colored lithograph of a barley field.   
There are no other pictures on Ward D.

The London Bridge lifts sooty towers above the river.   
But it's the barley field I see.   
A golden ocean of barley.

It's not like the other grain-fields.   
Maybe it's those inward-looking eyes   
gone into it so it becomes heaven?

A fall-colored sky, mild,   
with no harvesters and no scythes.

Source: Poetry (April 2008).


This poem originally appeared in the April 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

April 2008
 Olav H. Hauge


Olav H. Hauge (1908–1994) lived all his life in Ulvik, a village in the west of Norway on the Hardangerfjord. He translated many English and American writers into Norwegian.

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Poems by Olav H. Hauge

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals

POET’S REGION Scandinavia

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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