Thursday, February 12, 2015

Paavo Haavikko

fr. The Bowmen (1955)

Statecraft, sagacity
Gone to the mountain council
My lord has planted his banner
We must not go there

And clearly
Alone I am nothing
Come read it now --

Returning to Worms
I take my nail and hammer

The hand touches sky
The foot presses down on the ground
Henceforth may nothing divorce
The hand from the sky
The feet from the ground

On the mountains forever
Winds water and fire
Scorched earth
The elements bringing forth bloodshed
Rebellion war
Plague evil sudden death

Statecraft, sagacity
And also the men in black
Honour cries out for violence
Sagacity's foresight improves
When glasses are reddened by flames

We have not come here
To look into wisdom
But into our hearts
We have all of us come here
Not to display sagacity
But the willingness
To make sacrifices.

--tr. Anselm Hollo

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