Marry Ailonieida Somby, Norway, Sami People

25th Medellin International Poetry Festival
Photo by Sara Marín

Por: Marry Ailonieida Somby

Photo published on

Marry A. Somby was born in Sirma, Norway, on July 31, 1953. She belongs to the Sami nation. She made her debut in 1976, when she wrote the first book for children in the Sami language. She has since published several books of poetry, written much drama and has also been an actress, painter, puppeteer and activist in defense of the Sami people. For a time she lived in North and South America. In 1979 she founded the Sami Writers Association, which inspired many artists to build their own organizations.


Books published: Ráiddostallan, 1983; Raiden går, 1993; Solens datter: et samisk eventyr, Beaivvas nieida, 1990; Uhcastáloš, 1993; Guovžža gazza; ja Guovssahasa lávlla, 1993; Krigeren, elskeren og klovnen = Mu apache ràhkesvuohta, 1994; dikt, samisk parallelltekst og Ráhkisvuoða soahki. Sami Beaivváš teáhter, 1996; Samisk skyggespill. Med Anne Helgesen. Dukketeatermanus, 1998; Okto = Alene; om et drama John Andreas Savio. Sami Beaivváš teáhter, 2002; Bajándávgi, 2004; portretter og bokomslag Birkeland, Risa, Vold. 2005; Morten Haugen (red.). Barnas forfatterleksikon. Damm, 2003.

Poems and biography Web World Poetry Movement
Marry Ailonieida Somby Youtube Channel
Words from the Edge Article about Marry and other indigenous poets

Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name 


Barren Rock Plains
ringed by tall mountains
The Inca Warrior snatches
a lizard
and consumes it alive

Days and nights
time runs out like shoofly liquor
from the bottoms of empty bottles
blurry talk and lashing words
clenched fists strike
batter and strike

Come with me
to my lavvo
my soot-stained tent
let us light 
a fire
and gaze steadily
into the flames

Dressed in a wedding gown
of netted sinews
and spider's web
I step 
into your canoe
at the clouds' edge
your coal-dark eyes flash
you push me from the shore
alone, I travel
far, far
to what which is not

May the Northern Lights
your name
engulf it in flames
that flicker
as intensely
as all the silk skirts
you have touched

The sun 
that has been away
for so long
I sprinkle rock crystals
and glass beads
from a leather pouch
tanned with alder bark
I sacrifice 
to the birch tree

The bridal crown
of fluttering silk ribbons
and signs of the moon
I hang in the tree

The yoik-king and the wolf-singer
come with me
The ptarmigans are shell-white
with black-tipped wings

From Krigeren, Elskeren og Kovnen/Mu Apache Rahkesvuokta, 1994
Translated by Edi Thorstensson
Published on


Publishet at March 3rd, 2015

Última actualización: 21/01/2022