is a co-winner of the 2009 Willis Barnstone Translation Prize.
Her poems, essays, and translations have appeared or are forthcoming in River Styx
, Atlanta Review
, The Evansville Review
, The Dark Horse
, and other journals in print and online.
Her chapbook Gardening in a Time of War
was published in 2007 by Pudding House.
She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, and works as a legal-writing adviser, editor, and indexer for the Minnesota Legislature.
—Back to Bumbershoot Contents—
Two Riddles from the Exeter Book
Translated from the Old English
I’m what men want.
In wide searches,
I was hauled from the forests,
the fortress-cliff heights,
the dales, the downs.
By day, a waggling
of wings in the breeze
buzzed me away
to a sheltering roof.
Then a rude fellow
bunged me in a barrel.
A time passed: Bang!
I’m yanking them down,
the young men, the old.
He’ll tumble to this
who takes me on:
he’s spoiling to finish
flat on his spine
if he doesn’t quit
this foolishness quickly!
Stripped of his strength—
he’ll grasp that he’s lost it,
his grip on his thoughts,
his fists, his footing.
Now find me a name:
me, who so master
men on middle-earth
that even in daylight
they’re dazed with the blow.
Odd, what I saw: a vessel of air
craftily worked, a wonder-creature.
Between her horns she hauled her booty
back from a foray, where fast in her fortress
she meant, if she might, to hide it from men.
Then, on the mountain’s ramparts, a marvel
rose, beloved of all earth-living.
He rescued the hoard and harried home
that wandering one against her will.
Far from her warring, she fled to the west.
The dust-cloud rose, the dawn-dew fell,
the nighttime left. And no one alive
could reckon what road that creature ran.