Friday, 20 November 2009

The Swedish poet Karin Boye

If there is a Swedish canon for poetry, this poem must be in there:

I would meet…

Upright, armed, encased in armour
I strode out -
though with chain-mail forged of shame and
fearful doubt.

I would cast aside my weapons,
sword and shield.
All the outer hostile husk that
kept me chilled.

I have seen the dry seeds at long
last unfurl.
I have seen the light-green leaves as
they uncurl.

Tender life has force with which no
iron contends,
surfacing from earth’s deep heart with
no defence.

Where I froze in winter wastes dawn
springs afresh.
I would meet life’s mighty forces

Here is the original. Click to enlarge.

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