Rolf Jacobsen (March 8, 1907 — February 20, 1994) could be said to be the first modernist writer in Norway.
Jacobsen’s career as a writer spanned more than fifty years. He is one of Scandinavia’s most distinguished poets, who launched poetic modernism in Norway with his first book, Jord og jern (Earth and Iron) in 1933. Jacobsen’s work has been translated into over twenty languages. The central theme in his work is the balance between nature and technology—he was called “the Green Poet” in Norwegian literature.
Jacobsen often expressed ironically his doubts about technology, and praised the blessings of little joys.
LIGHT COMES TO THE STONES FIRST
It always comes to the stones first
— light, as though it revolved around blindness.
First to the stones, like a coldness,
rebirth, a cry
Night dissolves in fragments,
gradually as each
but dimly, as if through water
— someone forces his way in to us
and tries to see what no one has seen before,
his forehead meets a wall,
a foot stumbles over rocks.
Maybe your heart, that the night won’t give rest.
Your death, but something in your dream
has to leave first.