6 X 9 inches, 48 pages
Bee-Buzz, Salmon Leap
Translated from the Nynorsk by George Johnston
Scandinavian Literature in Translation
NORWEGIAN CRITICS received Bee-Buzz, Salmon-Leap with high praise, and most considered it Knut Ødegård's finest book. His six previous collections, the first of which was published in 1967, had already established him as a lyric poet of power and wide-ranging sensibility. Many readers will be familiar with Wind Over Romsdal, a selection of his poems translated into English by George Johnston and published by Penumbra Press in 1982. That book's success has encouraged the publisher to issue this collection of Ødegård's most highly-developed work, not a selection but a unified volume as the poet ordered and shaped it for publication in Norway in 1983.
Besides writing his own poetry, renowned Norwegian poet Knut Ødegård has published translations into Norwegian of Faroese and Old Icelandic poetry. The most ambitious of these are the Old Icelandic classics, Lilja and Geisli. He has written children's novels, literary criticism and a play. He has also taken an active part as administrator, in the cultural life of Norway and of Iceland, and he has been Director of Nordic House, the Scandinavian cultural centre in Reykjavík.
George Johnston was born in Hamilton, Ontario on October 7, 1913. He graduated from the University of Toronto (Victoria College) in 1936 with a B.A. in Philosophy and English. He served for four and a half years with the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War, as a general reconnaissance pilot in West Africa and as an instructor in the United Kingdom and Canada. In 1944 he married Jeanne McRae and in 1945 he graduated M.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Toronto. He taught English and Old-Norse language and literature at Mount Allison University from 1947 to 1949 and then at Carleton University from 1950 to 1979, continuing on as Professor Emeritus.
To celebrate George's 85th birthday (October 7, 1998), Penumbra Press assembled the festschrift, The Old Enchanter (1999), in which over two dozen writers give testament to the quiet charisma and quick charm of the manpoet, translator, teacher, colleague, and friend.
A Party For a Poet, Winter 2000, Carleton U.