Over rough red wine heavy foreheads bow.
It is not wine that weighs them down.
The wine that frees our thoughts the most,
it frees the least our tongue.
Like a secret blaze, sacrificial fire
is rough red wine.
I alone know before what powers
that smoke arises fine.
I alone know from what worlds
I derive my drunkenness.
Each and all stare past the rest
and listen to distant sighs.
Each and all raise their glasses to things
that none of the others see,
in dark lands where rejoicing and grief
scarce have meaning finally.
So in secret I raise here my red wine,
my sacrificial blaze,
to a pain that is mine and resembles most
the eternal consuming gale from the sea's waves.
into English by David McDuff in "Karin Boye: Complete poems".
Copyright © 2005:
Translation from Swedish into English: David McDuff
Published with the permission of:
David McDuff, translation.
May and Hans Mehlin, Layout.
For more information, please visit the website
of David McDuff and his
own pages with the translations.