Friday, 17 April 2009

Gösta Ågren: Three Poems


Life is not a straight line
between those blind wells
birth and death; it is
a moment by their verge
before eternity grows
together again.


To grow old is not
to leave anything, but to
turn round under the present's
pillar of cloud and look out
across one's life, a book
still unread. All
that it contains
is yet to come!


My friend, it is so pointless
to be afraid. When death comes,
it is mild as solitude.
A storm of birds from the north
moves between past and future
into the south wind, a warm,
invisible angel who receives them
without demand or victory.

translated from Finland-Swedish by David McDuff

See also: Bothnian Wayfarer

1 comment:

Eric Dickens said...

For a man who was sometimes pre-occupied with the struggle on this Earth, Gösta Ågren seems now to have moved, by degrees, to the acceptance of the inevitable. But over the years he has maintained a measured view of life, as becomes a poet.

These are quiet, gently moving (in both senses of that word) poems. Leafing also through the selection "En dal i våldet - Poesin 1955-1985 i urval", you don't see that type of shrieky agit-prop you see in Claes Andersson, but a measured response to life. Whatever economic system a poet adheres to, if affiliations become too blatant, too hectoring, the poetry is damaged. However, when allmänmänskliga topics are broached and examined, there the poet is in his true environment.