Sick days

Edith Södergran: The Land Which Is Not

Tightly my heart is hidden in a narrow ravine,

far away my heart is located

on a distant island.

White birds fly to and fro

with the message that my heart lives.

I know how it lives

of coal and sand

on sharp stones.


I lay all day long awaiting the night,

I lay all night long awaiting the day,

I lay sick in the garden of Eden.

I know that I’ll never be healthy,

desire and unrest never improves.

I am feverish like a swamp-flower,

sweating sweetness like a sticky leaf.


In the far end of my garden is a sleepy lake.

I who love the soil

know nothing better than water.

Into the water falls all of my thoughts

nobody has seen,

my thoughts which I dare not show anybody.

The water is full of secrets.