March 8th, 2007


Södergran, "Storm"


Again, the earth is shrouded in black. It's the storm
that rises from gulfs of the night and dances
alone its ghostlike dance over the earth.
Again, men are fighting--phantom to phantom.
What do they want, what do they know? They are driven
like cattle from dark corners,
they can't tear loose from the chain of events:
the great ideas are chasing their prey before them.
In vain ideas flail their conjuring arms in the storm,
he, the dancer, knows well that his reign is supreme on the earth.
The world has lost control. One thing shall fall
like a house in flames, like a rotten tree,
another remain intact, spared by unknown hands.
And the sun sees all this, and the stars sparkle into icy nights
and man steals away on his lonely path toward boundless joy.

--Edith Södergran, 1919
Translation by Stina Katchadourian