Yes, it certainly hurts when buds burst (Karin Boye)

It’s March 25, but the spring is delayed. When I looked out from my window the other day and disappointed saw it was snowing again and  winter was back, I recalled a poem by the Swedish poet Karin Boye. I spent the following days with translating it  into English.  In Sweden everyone knows this poem and can  recite one or more  lines. There are at least two  translations already made into English and being  published. But I like mine better.


Yes, it certainly hurts when buds burst.
Why else would the spring hesitate?
Why would all our burning yearning
be tied in the frozen bitter pale?
The shell was the bud all winter.
What is this new that frets and blasts?
Yes, it certainly hurts when buds burst,
It hurts for what grows,
and it hurts for what closes.

Yes, it is surely hard when drops falls,
shivering of anxiety heavy they hang,
clinging the twig, swells and glides –
weight pulls them down how they climb.
It’s hard to be uncertain, scared and divided,
It’s hard to feel the depth draw and call,
still stay behind only trembling –
it’s hard to want to stay
and want to fall.

Then, when it is as its worst and nothing helps
the tree buds burst as in jubilance.
Then, when fear no longer holds back,
falls in a glitter the drops from the wig,
forgetting the fear for the new
forgetting the anxiety for the journey
feels for a second their greatest safeness,
resting in the trust
that creates the world.

Karin Boye lived 1900 -1941, for more:

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