It was the evening with fireflies
while we were waiting for the bus to Velletri
that we saw two old people kissing
under the plane tree. It was then
you said, half to the air
half to me:
Whoever loves for years
hasn't lived in vain.
And it was then I caught sight of the first
fireflies in the darkness, sparkling
with flashes of light around your head.
It was then.
"The Fireflies" by Rolf Jacobsen, from North in the World: Selected Poems of Rolf Jacobsen. Translated from the original Norwegian and edited by Roger Greenwald. © University of Chicago Press, 2002.
The Norwegian text can be found on page 298 of the digital text.
Art credit: "Fireflies by the Ropeswing, Lake of the Ozarks, MO," time-lapse photograph by Vincent Brady (originally color).