Friday, 28 February 2014

The Beggar and the Hare

My translation of Tuomas Kyrö's novel Kerjäläinen ja jänis (The Beggar and the Hare) will be published by Short Books on March 6, and is available for pre-order as a hardback or a Kindle download.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

One Evening in October

I'm working on a complete translation of Tua Forsström's collection En kväll i oktober rodde jag ut på sjön (One Evening in October I Rowed Out on the Lake, Schildts & Söderströms, 2012), to be published by Bloodaxe in a bilingual Swedish-English facing-text edition in early 2015.

Versions of some of the translations have already appeared in Books from Finland and Swedish Book Review.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Two Poems

bGösta Ågren

The Future Is...

The future is unfurnished
as if it were a room
in place of an idea,

but your plans are ready
and you start work,
as to begin with fate is

so light that we don’t notice
the burden. The inevitable
needs no emphasis.

 July. Night.

The road doesn’t release
its grip on the car.
Driving is only
rhythm. The journey
moves slowly through
the summer night, which is
white with now. Sadness
heals sorrow.

from Centralsång (2013)

translated from Finland-Swedish by David McDuff

The Bridge of Sleep

by Saima Harmaja

Long is the days’ journey
to evening’s dim domain.
Lonely the blissful moment
exhausted by the pain:
I slumber in blue evening,
a bridge spans in between,
taking me from time’s chasms
to the land of the unseen.

When darkness wraps the senses
and, warm, the mind succumbs,
beside me they are present,
they breathe, the  heavenly ones.
Gone is the cruelest longing.
From my pain I am freed
he smiles with shining eyes
the one whom I met in my need.

He that went on ahead,
precious, grown cold his brow,
like a pale star of spring
he stays here with me now.
Broken the frame of his body.
Spirit and earth are one.
Into my tear-hot eyes
the brightness trickles down.

Waking in midst of sleep
I see, veiled by dust from above:
it is one, the land that lies there,
the kingdom of longing and love.
Across the bitter limit
on gleaming threads set free,
love goes from the circle of time
to a land that I cannot yet see.

May 3, 1936


Pitkä on päivien retki
illan himmeyteen.
Yksi on autuas hetki
kivusta uupuneen:
nukkua siintoon illan,
uneen, mi kaartua suo
pois ajan kuiluista sillan
näkymätönten luo.

Kun jo on hämärä hellä
kietonut aistimet,
luonani hengähdellä
alkavat taivaiset.
Poissa on kaipaus julmin.
Tuskani irroittain
hymyy hohtavin kulmin
hän, jota nääntyen hain.

Hän, joka edeltä lähti,
kallis ja kylmennyt,
kuin kevätkalpea tähti
luonani viipyy nyt.
Murtunut on kehä ruumiin.
Yhtä on henki ja maa.
Silmiini kyynelkuumiin
kirkkaus uppoaa.

Valvoen keskellä unta
nään, tomuhuntuinen:
yksi on valtakunta
kaipuun ja rakkauden.
Ylitse katkeran rajan
hohtavin langoin käy
rakkaus piiristä ajan
maahan, mi vielä ei näy.

translated from Finnish by David McDuff