Yesterday I lay broken
in the rainshowers' stream.
Now washed and clean I rise
from degradation's dream.
I read in the light,
I hear with dread life's
eternal commandment 'Forget!'
in the morning's hum.

I saw lightnings splinter
the noblest oak,
and I saw mountains weather
in the ages' joke,
but stronger than either
from the winters' peril
in a thousand springs I rise aloft,
immortal, weak.

My root is fixed in death,
in mouldered things' dwelling-place.
I do not remember their fates,
but I feel them sprout, increase.
The past's spirit trembles
in bright green meshes
and ripens to an eternal now
in the grassy ground's peace.

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.