Moon and Apple

by Rolf Jacobsen

English version by Robert Bly
Original Language Norwegian

When the apple tree blooms,
the moon comes often like a blossom,
paler than any of them,
shining over the tree.

It is the ghost of the summer,
the white sister of the blossoms who returns
to drop in on us,
and radiate peace with her hands
so that you shouldn't feel too bad when the hard times come.
For the Earth itself is a blossom, she says,
on the star tree,
pale with luminous
ocean leaves.

-- from The Winged Energy of Delight, Translated by Robert Bly

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

It's past the summer season of apple blossoms and well into the autumn of ripe apples (at least for those of us north of the equator), but something about this poem spoke to me today. The blossoms of the apple tree glowing beneath the shining moon, a reminder to us all that even when things seem difficult, the Earth itself -- and each one of us -- "is a blossom... on the star tree." If we are blossoms, that must mean we are quietly ripening with the season, and in the natural unfolding of things we will become sweet fruit in the cosmos.

Recommended Books: Rolf Jacobsen

The Winged Energy of Delight The Roads Have Come to an End Now: Selected and Last Poems of Rolf Jacobsen Night Music: Selected Poems North in the World: Selected Poems of Rolf Jacobsen, A Bilingual Edition Night Open: Selected Poems

Moon and Apple