Expectation (Odotus), Saima Harmaja

HK19670603_3770
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This reminds me a little of Anna Akhmatova. Saima Harmaja had all the marks of greatness, I think – but she died much too young, and the fact that she wrote in Finnish has hardly helped to spread her cause.
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I tweaked the metre here and there – I’m not sure the intrusion of trochees at the start of lines always works in English. The Finnish is pretty dense, so I hope I’ve retained the poem’s sense in the search for a way to express it in English.
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While, silent, strolling through enchanted garden,
I saw the flowers sleep in placid train.
It seemed to cut them might be cause of pain.
I held them sweetly, sadly begging pardon.
 .
And then I cast my eye on scented peas,
and saw the evening’s gentle shade of azure.
As moment passed, each measure followed measure,
approaching night hue darkened by degrees.
.
But pallid lake in shadow of the trees
retaining light within its deepness shimmered
as if its mirror had contrived to seize
the sun’s declining rays as bright they glimmered.
 .
And in the sky that held my raptured gaze,
vestigial cloudy cover was extended –
a white veil over twilight’s splendour trended.
And by its kindling thus did first star blaze.
 .
And others now began to spread their ray
their algal blue-green light before me shedding
as barefoot through the cold grass I was treading.
And in my arms did sleep the gathered spray
and earth and forest too contented dreamed,
but new stars still the darkening sky enlivened.
By quivering ray they palely now enlightened,
as through the clouds’ dim veil their light they streamed,
 .
in tingling night I felt with all my being
that now at last it simply had to be
at turn of road your eyes I would be seeing
 .
from wait of many summers I’d be free.
 .
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
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Lumossa puutarhan ma hiljaa kuljin.
Jo uinui untaan rivit kukkien.
Kuin kivun tunsin niitä leikaten,
mut syliini ne suloisesti suljin.
 .
Kun viimein yli hajuherneiden
loin katseen, herkenneen näin illan sinen.
Ja hetki hetkeltä se, ihmeellinen,
syveni, vienoni, taas syveten.
 .
Mut alla metsäin järvi vaalea
sisäistä valoansa hohti vielä,
kuin vanginnut sen lasi ihana
ois viime säteet, säilyttäen ne siellä.
 .
Ja yli taivaan, jonka hurmaan jäin,
levisi pilviryhmä jumalainen
kuin valkohuntu, hämyyn-loistavainen.
Niin ensi tähti syttyi värähtäin.
 .
Ja yhä syttyi tähdet vaaleat,
kuin sinenevää tietä käydä aloin
ja kylmään ruohoon astuin paljain jaloin.
Jo sylissäni kukat nukkuivat,
maa, metsä nukkui uneen suloiseen,
mut taivas yhä uusin tähdin eli.
Kun valkeneva säde värähteli
myös läpi pilvihunnun himmenneen,
 .
niin kaikin aistein, yöhön herkistyvin,
ma tunsin, että täytyis viimeinkin
tien käänteestä sun tulla silmin hyvin,
 .
sa, jota monta kesää odotin.
 .
Translation by Rupert Moreton

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