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Rolf Jacobsen - When They Sleep

When They Sleep

by Rolf Jacobsen

English version by Robert Hedin
Original Language Norwegian

All people are children when they sleep.
there's no war in them then.
They open their hands and breathe
in that quiet rhythm heaven has given them.
They pucker their lips like small children
and open their hands halfway,
soldiers and statesmen, servants and masters.
The stars stand guard
and a haze veils the sky,
a few hours when no one will do anybody harm.
If only we could speak to one another then
when our hearts are half-open flowers.
Words like golden bees
would drift in.
-- God, teach me the language of sleep.


-- from Night Music: Selected Poems, by Rolf Jacobsen / Translated by Robert Hedi
Poetry Chaikhana | Rolf Jacobsen - When They Sleep

My second attempt (Friday) to get a good night;s sleep as part of scheduled day failed but also has a strange side effect.  I went to sleep fairly easily but woke up two hours later.  Or did i,  Dianne was lying beside me and i was telling her that my CPAP was malfunctioning.  A minute or so later the CPAP was fine, but she was gone.  The strange thing is that there was no apparent transition, no moment in which i went from sleep to waking.  I thought about Chuang Chou's dream about being a butterfly.  Was he a man who had dreamed he was a butterfly or is he now a butterfly dreaming it is a man?  Between waking and dreaming, which, if either, is the greater illusion



Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
o_laila
Jul. 10th, 2016 11:51 pm (UTC)
just want you to know i'm listening...
bobby1933
Jul. 11th, 2016 01:28 am (UTC)
Thank you! <3
amaebi
Jul. 11th, 2016 12:53 am (UTC)
I cannot read what is behind the cut.

Beyond the Chuyang Chou, sometimes dreams comment on "waking life," and sometimes "waking life" comments on dreams.
bobby1933
Jul. 11th, 2016 01:31 am (UTC)
All my stuff was supposed to be behind the cut.

Yes, that makes sense to me.
amaebi
Jul. 11th, 2016 01:45 am (UTC)
I'm so glad it was visible to me. :)
opakele
Jul. 12th, 2016 12:40 am (UTC)
I love that poem...

Maybe you are where you need to be.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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