O a blade,
yieldingly supple and strong,
o a lithely dancing blade,
proudly obeying the sternest law,
the rhythm's hard law in the steel -
o a blade
I would be in body and soul!

You I hate,
you my wretched willow-being,
you that twine, you that twist,
patiently obeying others' hands.
You I hate,
you my lazy dreamer-being.
You shall die.
Help me, my hatred, you sister of longing,
help me to become
a blade, yes a blade,
a dancing sword of hardened steel!

Translated into English by David McDuff in "Karin Boye: Complete poems".

Swedish original

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.