A life

Edith Södergran: The Land Which Is Not

The stars are immovable –

we all know that –

but I will seek happiness on all the blue waves

and under all the grey stones.

If happiness never comes? Then what is life?

A tiny waterlily withers away in the sand.

And if its knowing fails? A surf dies along the beach

as the sun goes down.

What had the fly to do in the spider’s web

and what did the mayfly make out of its only day?

There is only this answer: two lifeless wings

above a sunken chest.

Black never turns white –

but the sweetness of the fight we can still meet

and Hell sprouts fresh flowers every day.

But there comes a day when Hell is empty and Heaven closes

and everything stands still –

then there’s only the body of a mayfly left in a leafy corner.

But nobody knows it anymore.