Sunday, 28 August 2016

A poem by Ebba Lindqvist (1908-1995)

Icarus’ fall

Nobody saw him fall.
Nobody knows what he felt.
Nobody knows if his exultation at daring
was worth his perishing.
All this about belonging to life,
about losing life
nobody is to know.
This was his alone.

And what happened later
was probably of no account.
No more than the mayfly’s
path across the waters.
Wings as wings – and all
shall fall.
The evening was never as beautiful as now
at sunset:

the sea glittering, the sun’s jewel gleaming,
the ship that is passing.
The ship always passing
towards the morrow.

Nobody saw what happened.
Nobody has any time in life.
The fisherman is in such a hurry. He knows
that the fish bite best at sunset.
And with his back to the sea the
shepherd stands deep in prayer.
He has noticed nothing.
And the farmer ploughing sees nothing
except the furrow he is following.

Everybody was in such a hurry,
The evening was clear and beautiful,
and there was nobody who noticed
Icarus’ fall.