Saturday, 24 April 2021

Kjell Espmark: 'Igensnöat fönster och ensamhet'


The Battle of Poltava (1709), in which the Russian forces

of Peter the Great overcame the Swedish army

Snowed-up window and loneliness

are my circumstances, ten years after Poltava.

The Siberian light is hardly sufficient

for mending the tear in my uniform.

It is the word ‘home’ that makes the needle quaver.

Hedvig and the children have grown so transparent

and the farm so pale I can only just remember.

To ease my pain I think in grey –

the timbers in the house that shake in the wind,

the hostile sky,

yes, even the language is consolingly grey.

The only thing that still reminds me of colour

is the washed-out blue of my coat at the knee,

the pale-blue of the sky

above my distant Södermanland.


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