At last I stand near the mountain of the fates.
All around like stormclouds crowd formless beings, creatures of the twilight,
Shall I stay? Shall I go? The road lies dark.
If I stay peacefully here at the foot of the mountain,
then no one will touch me.
Calmly I can see their struggle like a play of the mist in the air, myself merely a lost eye.
But if I go, if I go, then I shall know nothing more.
For the one who takes those steps
life becomes legend.
I shall ride on coiling snakes of fire.
I shall fly on winged wind-dragons.
myself lost in the storm
I shall fling myself forth dead or living, a fate future-heavy.
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.