WHERE THE DIVINING-ROD
DESCENDS

 
Where the divining-rod descends
goes forth the water's vein.
a centre for fate,
a serious one.
Do not flee into dreams
of richer sward.
Here is your ground, and the powers
have said their word.
It may bcome to pass, if you dig here,
that the heather's mark
may be watered to a pleasure-garden
and leaf-rich park.
It may also come to pass
that your toil will be repaid
with a few dark cracks
that winter green has made.
The one and the other
have meagre weight
against your touching your own fate's
living plate,
where evil power is broken,
where creation takes place,
where you and the world grow
to a greater space.
Do not think your dreams
will come true at last.
Do not think you will regain
those meadows you lost.
Where the divining-rod descends
stern mystery dwells below.
There happens nothing of what
you expect and know.
Take the shoe from your foot
Be still, and watch the earth.
Here you are granted a meeting
with the power of birth.
How deep the earth ferments.
Her soul is like yours.
Here a way is opened for you
into hers. 
                                      

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.