Blenched and stark, occluded
in almost perpetual dark in winter
and wintered in autumn,
(see allotment cabbages already burned by early snow!),
this aweful landscape of jagged and rounded rocks
was all the idyll Astrup seemed to know.
And summer, so short lived and mired in damp
that midsummer’s midnight-revellers stamp
their boots gratefully in the searing blaze of pagan fires –
(And look, kingcups flowering in icy marshes as late as June!)
and Jorsland’s full moon of May ‘s as metalled
a plate of silver as any moon of Le Douanier,
but it does not serve to quicken blood or
help the Nordic race to procreate….
Here life is both harsh and late.
Funerals dour, pastors stern, millstones heavy
and Astrup, in his late twenties, is mated
to a girl of barely fifteen, and begets seven offspring
to people his empty Lutheran world.