Edith Södergran: The Land Which Is Not

Be quiet, my child, there is nothing,

and all is as you see: the forest, the smoke and the parallel rails.

A place far away in a distant land

there is a far bluer sky and a wall of roses

or a palm tree and a warmer wind –

and that is all.

There is nothing more than snow on the branch of the conifer.

There is nothing to kiss with warm lips,

and all lips turn cool over time.

But you say, my child, that your heart is mighty,

and to live in vain is less than dying.

What would you do with death? Do you know the stench from death’s basement?

Nothing is more disgusting than to die for your own hand.

We should love all the long sickly hours of life

and difficult years of desire

as well as the short moments where the desert blooms.