Poetry News

Caroline Bergvall's 'Noping' on Triple Canopy

By Harriet Staff


Issue 17 of Triple Canopy has been available for a while, but we like to go through each issue slowly and deliberately. Caroline Bergvall's "Noping," part etymological essay, part incantatory sound text, is just the right kind of stimulating lull we need on this V-Day morning:

A p attached to a long stick, or a type of hoop.

Apparently my Norwegian folks were island pastors and sea traders from the southeastern part of the country. Would they have used such a tool? Perhaps as a walking stick, or as a cleat for tying the rope around once they’d docked their boat, but not as a written sign. At any rate, I only know about my ascendants until the early nineteenth century, by which time this runic sign, the thorn sign, would already have fallen into disuse in both the Norwegian and the English writing systems. It would already have been found mainly on the red-painted slabs of raised rune stones that litter both the surfaces and the geological depths of Swedish and Norwegian landscape:

Here shall these stones stand, reddened with runes.

You'll find the entire piece, along with the accompanying sound text, at Triple Canopy.

Originally Published: February 14th, 2013