You who are called by the names of flowers,
now I want to give you another:
The Surgeon's Knife.
A cold, hard name.
But so gleamingly hard
is your image in the silent hours.
I am doomed when I see you,
doomed like one who is sick
before your health of springtime morning.

It is good that one suffers and sickens.
You are refreshingly free from mercy
towards torments of pathos.
Afar, afar you smile mysteriously.
I would breathe your lofty air.
I would tread those dewy paths
where you walk.

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.