What you are supposed to hit
is the bull’s-eye, that black spot,
that precise spot, and the arrow
is supposed to stand there quivering!
But that’s not where the arrow goes.
Olav H. Hauge (1908–1994) was born in Ulvik, Norway, and attended an agricultural school before spending four years gardening on an experimental farm. Rural life and nature would become the foundations of his poetry, while his extensive interest in literature—he taught himself French and English—is everywhere in evidence in his work. Admitted several times to psychiatric hospitals, Hauge made a late debut, at age thirty-eight. New collections appeared every five years, and he produced eight in all. Upon Hauge’s death, his extensive diary was discovered and published in its entirety in five volumes.