POETRY TRANSLATION SHOWCASE: PER HELGE – ‘THE HEAVY HELPLESS SONG’
PER HELGE (b. 1945) left teaching in 1976 to work as a full-time writer, active as a reviewer and journalist and local historian. He has published a dozen books, mostly of poetry. He lives in Värmland, in the countryside of western Sweden, and much of his writing celebrates the values of rural, ”non-central” ways of life.
The poems published here are taken from En skrovlig yta av liv (A Rough Surface of Life: Selected Poems 1974-2011, Ariel, 2014) and translated from the Swedish by Robin Fulton Macpherson.
ROBIN FULTON MACPHERSON‘s book-length selections in translation include Sekunden överlever stenen, translated into Swedish by Johannes Edfelt, Lasse Söderberg & Tomas Tranströmer (Ellerströms, Lund, 1996); Grenzflug, translated into German by Margitt Lehbert (Edition Rugerup, Hörby, 2008) and Poemas, translated into Spanish by Circe Maia (Rebeca Line Editoras, Montevideo, 2013). A Northern Habitat: Collected Poems 1960-2010 was published in 2014 by Marick Press (Michigan).
Macpherson has translated a number of Scandinavian poets, such as Tomas Tranströmer from Sweden (most recent edition 2011), and Olav H Hauge from Norway (most recent edition 2011). See also Four Swedish Poets (White Pine Press, 1990) and Five Swedish Poets (Norvik Press, Norwich, 1997). His most recent translations are from the Swedish of Harry Martinson (Bloodaxe, 2010, Bernard Shaw Translation Prize) and Kjell Espmark (Marick Press, Michigan, 2011 and 2012).
To view the poems in bilingual format, click here – Per Helge dual version