Ingrid Storholmen – New Earth

P Ingrid Storholmen LE P&W Vol 1 2019

Poem by Ingrid Storholmen

Translation from Norwegian by Marietta Maddrell

Ingrid Storholmen was born in Verdal, Norway, on 22 May 1976. She studied literature at the University of Bergen, and spent one year at a creative writing school. She was the literature editor of Morgenbladet, a culture newspaper in Norway. For five years, she was the writer-in-residence at ‘Adrianstua’, a writer’s house in Trondheim. She started the Trondheim International Literature Festival during her stay there, and also founded the literary magazine LUJ with two colleagues. She has published six books: The Law of the Poacher (2001, Shamespeesch); Graceland (2005); Siri’s Book (2007); Voices from Chernobyl (2009); To Praise Love (2011) published by Aschehoug in Oslo, Norway. Here Lies Tirpitz (2014). She has received many literary awards and prizes for her work, and her poetry has been translated into eighteen languages. Voices from Chernobyl bagged the Sult Prize 2010, and was shortlisted for the 2009 Critics’ Prize, the 2009 Brage Award and the 2009 Youth Critics’ Prize, the Sult award, and she was nominated to the world largest literary award for a single work published in English, the IMPAC Dublin Literary award, for “The Voices of Chernobyl”. Twice she has a three year long scholarship from the state of Norway, now she has got a five year scholarship from the Norwegian Writers union, and she has been reading at poetry festivals all over the world from Slovenia to India.


And the earth said
Now you may go
You have finished now
Finished putting down words

And the earth said
I am rising
Up, stretching out my arms
Pushing you away
I do not respond to your curses
Or your hopes

Do not draw breath, the air is mine
You landed on me
Without permission to land
a warplane

You borrowed, but stole
Consolation against consolation
Your consolation

And the earth asks
Where is my freedom
Do I have a choice
Other than to make you quake with earthquake
become anaemic with pandemic

And the earth answers that
oracle is a round word


Like a planet, like the head
of a girl, all of you, who dig in the sand, sift, stroke, till, burn
Mill, no less, mite, embers of remembrance which collide

You say I am called Gaia
But I am not, nor am I home
or planet, Tellus, cosmos
You take pictures of me

Of the embryo inside the belly
Of the tumour inside the abdomen
Believing you see the one who is looking when the satellite looks at us

Lightbearer, may I suggest
the possibilities
no, rather

Catch catch
catch me
in your lap
In the blue

And there (in the blue)
is  the noise from a kindergarden in autumn light
the  trees have caught fever, for ever?
Young insects leap from flower to floor to bed to blood
Life goes on, just goes on
Is it an insult, a twist of fate, bashfulness or disarming
Humour or ill-humour?


It is so easy for you, all of you, you simply hold out a We
wave it in the wind, tempting

Must we become We?
In the end?
What have We to say
Who do We say it to
Are you there?  Are you
On the wildlife camera, on the carcass, in the trap or     in the field
In We-shapes, figures, built or discovered
As unlike we we are We in

Who decides you, We
Subject     object     rape
Who decides on
The hand that writes
In the sky

said  the earth

© Ingrid Storholmen