The whirl of madness

Edith Södergran: The September Lyre

Protect your boat against superhuman currents,

the whirling abyss of madness –

protect your boat against the cheering waves of the fall,

they crush everything.

Protect yourself – here you don’t count anymore –

life and death is one against the frenetic happiness of the force,

here exist no ‘slow’, ‘careful’, ‘attempt’.

Stronger hands catch your paddle in movement.


There you stand yourself, a hero with many-born blood.

Joyous and calm, a bonfire of joy refelcted on ice,

as if the commandment of death wasn’t written for you:

intoxicated waves move your keel.