The princess

Edith Södergran: The Land Which Is Not

Every night the princess let herself be caressed.

But the one who caresses merely satisfy his own hunger

and her desire was a shy flower, a puzzled fairytale in the midst of reality.

New caresses filled her heart with bitter-sweetness

and her body with ice, but her heart wanted more.

The princess felt bodies, but she sought hearts;

she had never seen another heart than her own.


The princess was the poorest in all of the realm:

she had lived too long on deceit.

She knew that her heart should die and crumble entirely,

for the truth gnaws and gnaws.

The princess loved not the red lips, they were foreign.

The princess didn’t know the drowned eyes with ice at the bottom.

They were all winter-children, but the princess was from the deep south and wasn’t capricious,

had no hardness, no veil and no cunning.