Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Dag T. Straumsvåg


We bought a cocker spaniel, but it wasn’t realistic enough, so we gave
him away. When the goldfish died, we turned to appliances. Our old toaster,
the glass-topped stove. Appliances are not flawless either, but the on/off
buttons work so well we decided to develop a similar system of our own.
Instead of on/off buttons, we use baseball bats. One rap on the skull means
“It’s your turn to do dishes,” one smack to the shin means “Leave me alone,”
a heavy blow to the solar plexus means “Can you repeat that, please?” Life’s
a lot simpler now. The kids line up every night to do the dishes, I get to
read the paper in peace, and when we’re talking, we get straight to the
point, our diction impeccable.

Translated by Robert Hedin

Dag T. Straumsvåg was born in 1964 and grew up on the western coast of Norway. He is the author and translator of four books of poetry, and serves as editor and publisher of Pir forlag, an independent small press in Trondheim. Red Dragonfly Press has published two of his books, A Bumpy Ride to the Slaughterhouse and The Lure-Maker from Posio, both translated by Robert Hedin and Louis Jenkins. He lives in Trondheim.

Robert Hedin is the author, translator, and editor of nearly two dozen books of poetry and prose. He serves as founding director of the Anderson Center, a residential artist retreat in Red Wing, Minnesota. At the Great Door of Morning: Poems and Translations is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in 2016. He lives in Frontenac, Minnesota.


  1. I was hooked by that first sentence with the terrific phrase: "but it wasn't realistic enough".

  2. Dag paint pictures that hang on the walls of your mind for a long time. Some forever. His poems make you think, you might end up with a smile and a laugh, you might end up thinking for days. You associate the stories with everyday life. You always go back to his poems, and you find something new each time you do. His collection of poems, "The Lure-Maker from Posio", is highly recommended.

  3. I love the poem and the parenting skills. Solid.