In springtime, in sprouting time,
the seed its shell destroys,
and rye becomes rye and pine becomes pine
in freedom without choice.

A thrill of voluptuousness
passes through body and soul -
that I am I, necessarily I -
a sprout that's come up whole,

a spring shoot whose growing power
I scarce envision yet -
but the stem's sap of bitter taste,
with pleasure I know it.

Then begone, all my cowardice!
To my future I belong.
I take the right to grow now
as my roots will, and as strong.

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.