I’m not a poet, and hardly a translator, but would like to share the poem “Utsettelse?” (Postponement?) by the now aging and sick Norwegian poet Stein Mehren:

As life is being taken from us, we
want it all the more, with prayers
resembling less our raptures
than they resemble our moans of pain
It’s like being drawn
screaming and backwards into
the realm of death, conscious of
not yet having quite finished being born

In spite of its naked fear of impending death, it seems to me a very life-confirming poem, expressing the almost greedy desire to come just a little closer to whoever you are at the bottom of your soul, or whatever you were meant to be, before you finally take your leave. Is this what meditation is about too?

Stein Mehren

Stein Mehren at Oslo Poesifestival in 2008, where he popped up without advance notice. Photo: Ssspooky (Mariann Enge)