An eternity long
our summer was then.
We roamed in sunny days
that had no end.
We sank in fragrant green
depths without floor
and felt no fear
of eventide's hour.
Where did our eternity go?
How did we forget
its holy secret?
Our day became too short.
In strife we form,
In spasm we rhyme
a work that shall be eternal -
and its essence is time.
But still timeless drops
fall into our arms
at a time when we're absent
from goals and names,
when the sun falls silent
over straws there alone,
and all our striving seems to us
like a game and a loan.
Then we sense that condition
we once received:
to burn in the moment
that living bequeathed,
and forget the temporal
that lasts and endures,
for creation's second,
that no gauge ever nears.

Translated into English by David McDuff in "Karin Boye: Complete poems".

Swedish original

Copyright © 2005:
Translation from Swedish into English: David McDuff

Published with the permission of:
David McDuff, translation.
May and Hans Mehlin, Layout.

For more information, please visit the website of David McDuff and his own pages with the translations.