How is it possible?
How did such a glorious multiplicity grow,
such a fresh and fine and airy cloud of flowers,
such a forest of twisted wild boughs,
such a rough bark with green lichen
all of it only
from one and the same dark little kernel?
There it lay, all of it,
trunk, branches, leaves and bark and airy flowers,
pressed together in a heart-shape.
But we are the wild apple's reflection in water.
From riches without boundary and bottom,
from young days' airy light fruit-blossom,
from a hundred roads' forest of clinging branches,
from the simple bark of a simple life,
we gather slowly,
until it all lies still, condensed, closed
within the kernel of a heart...
How is it possible.
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.