Monday, August 26, 2013

Paavo Haavikko

The children get this face of mine
When I start a new life
As soil, as vegetation,
   retiring from poems.
But where does my breath go then?
And how can I be happy
Not seeing the pigs sprouting hooves,
   the asparagus ripening, golden . . . Oh,
It is late,
My grandfather's fate,
A terrifying example.
He was too slow, all of forty-four
   (and that
Is too damn late) when he retired,
Oh, it takes the whole man
Just to listen to the winds
From sunrise to sunset
   and all night long,
Oh, it takes all your strength
   to really be at rest:
There is no footpath
   to the gods.

--Paavo Haavikko
tr. Anselm Hollo

in Paavo Haavikko and Tomas Tranströmer: Selected Poems
[Middlesex, England: Penguin Books, 1974]

No comments:

Post a Comment