DANSK

Hvad man kan hitte på

ENGLISH

What one can invent


Der var en ung mand, som studerede til at være digter, han ville være det til påske, gifte sig og leve af digteriet, og det er, vidste han, bare at hitte på, men han kunne ikke hitte på. Han var født for silde, alt var taget op før han kom til verden, alt var der digtet og skrevet om.
There was once a young man who was studying to be a poet. He wanted to become one by Easter, and to marry, and to live by poetry. To write poems, he knew, only consists in being able to invent something; but he could not invent anything. He had been born too late– everything had been taken up before he came into the world, and everything had been written and told about.


"De lykkelige mennesker der fødtes for tusinde år siden!" sagde han. "De kunne sagtens blive udødelige! lykkelig selv den der fødtes for hundred år siden, da var der dog endnu noget at digte om; nu er verden digtet ud, hvad skal jeg kunne digte ind!"
"Happy people who were born a thousand years ago!" said he. "It was an easy matter for them to become immortal. Happy even was he who was born a hundred years ago, for then there was still something about which a poem could be written. Now the world is written out, and what can I write poetry about?"


Han studerede på det, så at han blev syg og dårlig, det elendige menneske; ingen doktor kunne hjælpe ham, men måske den kloge kone. Hun boede i det lille hus ved markleddet, som hun lukkede op for kørende og ridende; hun kunne rigtignok lukke mere op end leddet, hun var klogere end doktoren, der kører i egen vogn og betaler rangskat.
Then he studied till he became ill and wretched, the wretched man! No doctor could help him, but perhaps the wise woman could. She lived in the little house by the wayside, where the gate is that she opened for those who rode and drove. But she could do more than unlock the gate. She was wiser than the doctor who drives in his own carriage and pays tax for his rank.


"Jeg må ud til hende!" sagde den unge mand.
"I must go to her," said the young man.


Huset, hun boede i, var lille og net, men kedeligt at se på; der var ikke et træ, ikke en blomst; der stod en bistade ud for døren, meget nyttig! der var en lille kartoffelmark, meget nyttig! og en grøft med slåentjørne, der havde afblomstret og sat bær, som rimper munden sammen, når man smager dem før de har fået frost.
The house in which she dwelt was small and neat, but dreary to behold, for there were no flowers near it– no trees. By the door stood a bee-hive, which was very useful. There was also a little potato-field, very useful, and an earth bank, with sloe bushes upon it, which had done blossoming, and now bore fruit, sloes, that draw one's mouth together if one tastes them before the frost has touched them.


"Det er livagtig vor poesiløse tid, jeg her ser!" tænkte den unge mand, og det var altid en tanke, et guldkorn, han fandt ved den kloge kones dør.
"That's a true picture of our poetryless time, that I see before me now," thought the young man; and that was at least a thought, a grain of gold that he found by the door of the wise woman.


"Skriv det op!" sagde hun; "smuler er også brød! hvorfor du kommer her, ved jeg; du kan ikke hitte på, og dog vil du være digter til påske!"
"Write that down!" said she. "Even crumbs are bread. I know why you come hither. You cannot invent anything, and yet you want to be a poet by Easter."


"Alt er skrevet op!" sagde han. "Vor tid er ikke gammel tid!"
"Everything has been written down," said he. "Our time is not the old time."


"Nej!" sagde konen; "i gammel tid blev de kloge koner brændt, og poeterne gik om med slunken tarm og hul på albuen. Tiden er just god, den er den allerbedste! men du har ikke rigtig syn på sagen, du har ikke skærpet hørelsen og læser nok aldrig dit 'fadervor' om aftnen. Her er fuldt op i alle måder til at digte og fortælle om, når man kan fortælle. Du kan løse det ud af jordens vækster og grøde, øse det op af det rindende og af det stillestående vand, men du må forstå det, forstå at fange en solstråle. Prøv nu engang mine briller, få mit hørerør i øret, bed så til Vorherre og lad være at tænke på dig selv!"
"No," said the woman. "In the old time wise women were burnt, and poets went about with empty stomachs, and very much out at elbows. The present time is good, it is the best of times; but you have not the right way of looking at it. Your ear is not sharpened to hear, and I fancy you do not say the Lord's Prayer in the evening. There is plenty here to write poems about, and to tell of, for any one who knows the way. You can read it in the fruits of the earth, you can draw it from the flowing and the standing water; but you must understand how– you must understand how to catch a sunbeam. Now just you try my spectacles on, and put my ear-trumpet to your ear, and then pray to God, and leave off thinking of yourself"


Det sidste var nu meget svært, mere, end en klog kone kan forlange.
The last was a very difficult thing to do– more than a wise woman ought to ask.


Han fik brillerne og hørerøret, blev så stillet midt i kartoffelmarken; hun gav ham i hånden en stor kartoffel; det klang i den; der kom en sang med ord, kartoflernes historie, interessant, - en hverdagshistorie i ti dele, ti linjer var nok.
He received the spectacles and the ear-trumpet, and was posted in the middle of the potato-field. She put a great potato into his hand. Sounds came from within it; there came a song with words, the history of the potato, an every-day story in ten parts, an interesting story. And ten lines were enough to tell it in.


Og hvad sang kartoflen?
And what did the potato sing?


Den sang om sig og sin familie: Kartoflernes ankomst til Europa, den miskendelse, de havde prøvet og lidt, før de, som nu, stod erkendte som en større velsignelse end en guldklump.
She sang of herself and of her family, of the arrival of the potato in Europe, of the misrepresentation to which she had been exposed before she was acknowledged, as she is now, to be a greater treasure than a lump of gold.


"Vi blev på kongeligt bud uddelt på rådhuset i alle byer; der blev givet kundgørelse om vor store betydning, men man troede ikke på den, forstod ikke engang at plante os. En gravede et hul og kastede hele sin skæppe kartofler derned; en anden stak en kartoffel her, en der, ned i jorden og ventede at den skulle skyde op som et helt træ, hvoraf man kunne ryste kartofler. Der kom også vækst, blomster, vandfyldt frugt, men det hele visnede. Ingen tænkte på hvad der lå på bunden, velsignelsen: Kartoflerne. Ja vi har prøvet og lidt, det vil sige, vore forfædre, de og vi, det kommer nu ud på et! hvilke historier!"
"We were distributed, by the King's command, from the council-houses through the various towns, and proclamation was made of our great value; but no one believed in it, or even understood how to plant us. One man dug a hole in the earth and threw in his whole bushel of potatoes; another put one potato here and another there in the ground, and expected that each was to come up a perfect tree, from which he might shake down potatoes. And they certainly grew, and produced flowers and green watery fruit, but it all withered away. Nobody thought of what was in the ground– the blessing– the potato. Yes, we have endured and suffered, that is to say, our forefathers have; they and we, it is all one. "What a story it was!


"Ja, nu kan det være nok!" sagde konen. "Betragt slåentjørnene!"
"Well, and that will do," said the woman. "Now look at the sloe bush."


"Vi har også," sagde slåentjørnene, "nær familie i kartoflernes hjemland, højere nordpå, end de groede. Der kom nordmænd fra Norge, de styrede vestpå gennem tåge og storme til et ukendt land, hvor de, bag is og sne, fandt urter og grønt, buske med vinens sortblå bær: Slåentjørne, de frøs til modne druer, det gør også vi. Og landet fik navn 'Vinland – dvs. Grønland – dvs. Slåenland!'"
"We have also some near relations in the home of the potatoes, but higher towards the north than they grew," said the Sloes. "There were Northmen, from Norway, who steered westward through mist and storm to an unknown land, where, behind ice and snow, they found plants and green meadows, and bushes with blue-black grapes– sloe bushes. The grapes were ripened by the frost just as we are. And they called the land 'Wine-land,' that is, 'Groenland,' or 'Sloeland.' "


"Det er en hel romantisk fortælling!" sagde den unge mand.
"That is quite a romantic story," said the young man.


"Ja kom nu med!" sagde den kloge kone og førte ham hen til bistaden. Han så ind i den. Hvilket liv og røre! Der stod bier i alle gange og viftede med vingerne for at der kunne være sundt lufttræk i hele den store fabrik, det var deres bestilling; nu kom udefra bier, født med kurve på benene, de bragte blomsterstøv, det blev rystet ud, sondret og lavet til honning og voks; de kom, de fløj; bidronningen ville også flyve, men da må de alle med! det var nu ikke tiden; flyve ville hun dog; så bed de vingerne af Hendes Majestæt, og så måtte hun blive.
"Yes, certainly. But now come with me," said the wise woman, and she led him to the bee-hive. He looked into it. What life and labor! There were bees standing in all the passages, waving their wings, so that a wholesome draught of air might blow through the great manufactory; that was their business. Then there came in bees from without, who had been born with little baskets on their feet; they brought flower-dust, which was poured out, sorted, and manufactured into honey and wax. They flew in and out. The queen-bee wanted to fly out, but then all the other bees must have gone with her. It was not yet the time for that, but still she wanted to fly out; so the others bit off her majesty's wings, and she had to stay where she was.


"Stig nu op på grøften!" sagde den kloge kone, "kom og se ud over landevejen hvor godtfolk er at se!"
"Now get upon the earth bank," said the wise woman. "Come and look out over the highway, where you can see the people."


"Det var da en myldrende mængde!" sagde den unge mand, "historie på historie! det snurrer og surrer! det bliver mig ganske broget! jeg går bagover!"
"What a crowd it is!" said the young man. "One story after another. It whirls and whirls! It's quite a confusion before my eyes. I shall go out at the back."


"Nej, gå ligefrem!" sagde konen, "gå lige ind i menneskevrimlen, hav syn på den, øre for den og hjerte med! så skal du snart hitte på! men før du går, må jeg have mine briller og mit hørerør!" og så tog hun begge dele.
"No, go straight forward," said the woman. "Go straight into the crowd of people; look at them in the right way. Have an ear to hear and the right heart to feel, and you will soon invent something. But, before you go away, you must give me my spectacles and my ear-trumpet again." And so saying, she took both from him.


"Nu ser jeg ikke det mindste!" sagde den unge mand, "nu hører jeg ikke mere!"
"Now I do not see the smallest thing," said the young man, "and now I don't hear anything more."


"Ja, så kan du ikke blive digter til påske!" sagde den kloge kone.
"Why, then, you can't be a poet by Easter," said the wise woman.


"Men når da?" spurgte han.
"But, by what time can I be one?" asked he.


"Hverken til påske eller pinse! du lærer ikke at hitte på."
"Neither by Easter nor by Whitsuntide! You will not learn how to invent anything."


"Hvad skal jeg da gøre for at komme i levebrød ved poesien?"
"What must I do to earn my bread by poetry?"


"Der kan du allerede komme til fastelavn! slå poeterne af tønden! slå deres skrifter, det er at slå dem selv. Lad dig bare ikke forbløffe; slå raskvæk, så får du boller, hvormed du kan føde både dig og din kone!"
"You can do that before Shrove Tuesday. Hunt the poets! Kill their writings and thus you will kill them. Don't be put out of countenance. Strike at them boldly, and you'll have carnival cake, on which you can support yourself and your wife too."


"Hvad man kan hitte på!" sagde den unge mand, og så slog han af tønde hver anden poet, da han ikke selv kunne blive poet.
"What one can invent!" cried the young man. And so he hit out boldly at every second poet, because he could not be a poet himself.


Vi har det fra den kloge kone, hun ved hvad man kan hitte på.
We have it from the wise woman. She knows What One Can Invent.





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