A Young Woman (Nuori nainen), Eino Leino

Eino Leino Freya rouvan aikoihin


Here, I’ve reproduced Leino’s metre as accurately as possible.

As the hiss of skis when it’s freezing,
hard as rock, death’s rattle seizing,
acrid as stove’s flame when it’s baking,
glass of milk sweet, with smell of bread making,
scratching a wound with pointed splinter,
harsh as the sea at height of winter,
bare as swampy fell’s drear places:
thus, young woman in love’s embraces.


Liukas niinkuin lumella suksi,
kova niinkuin kuolon uksi,
kitkerä niinkuin kiukaan lieska,
makea niinkuin maito ja rieska,
leikkivä niinkuin lehti haavan,
ankara niinkuin aalto aavan,
synkkä niinkuin suossa vuori:
niin on lemmessä nainen nuori.

Translation by Rupert Moreton

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