Sunday, 21 June 2009

fs: Riga poems

The Estonian poet fs read several poems in my translation at a poetry event in Riga in 2004. Here are three of them:

*

we are all born in hospitals
long faded corridors
footsteps echo in the silence
the air is filled with the smell
of chlorine and medicines
the walls are steeped in sickness
our names are in the register
everything is under control
papers in the files
the files under lock and key
a guard at the entrance
today no one can get in
to see you
it's getting dark outside
behind the building the mortuary
get your feet off there
says the cleaner

*

these are not your hands, my dear
these are not your hands
turning the knobs of the radio
these are not your hands
that draw the curtains
that open the curtains
and aim a light in my face
these are not your hands
which press a gun into my hand
show me someone's picture
and push money into my pocket
these are not your warm hands
which touch my face
wake in the middle of the night
and lead in an unknown direction
these are cold hands that I feel
these are cruel hands
these are lifeless hands
that give life an aim

*

Tallinn

between the prison and the port
a nice view of the sea

Translated from Estonian by Eric Dickens

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