tisdag 12 januari 2016

Bertel Gripenberg: The Voice in the Dark


In the 1920s Finnish poet Bertel Gripenberg wrote the poem "Rösten i mörkret". Here I've translated it as "The Voice in the Dark". The poem showcased Gripenberg's dissatisfaction with the then liberal Finnish regime. This could remind you of feelings against the current nihilist liberal regimes in Sweden and the West at large. To this, the poem has a timeless quality of an accuser bringing The Powers That Be to justice.




I whisper constantly, again and again the same,
blowing at a half-smothered glow that once high will flame.

As Finland’s bad conscience, I want to watch in the night,
and conjure up visions of evil, forgotten vistas of fright.

For those who now enjoy their success, wrongly received,
I am the ghost living in the cellar, not easily deceived;

and when the day is done, they lie down and can’t hide,
I'll rise threateningly and dark to their side.

I am the little worm finding the sick spot firm,
the secret abyss of the soul where you squirm.

I am the witness peppered with lead
but in the dark each night standing up from the dead.

I’m an ignominious crime that in your house is hidden –
the heavy threat of vengeance, never minding your I didn’,

sounding discreetly like the ticking clock,
yet unrelenting, prepared to give you a shock.

Above the high lords' houses I loom,
as the owl, whose cries are speaking of doom.

I sing the same, the enemy of fawning,
I cry out for justice ’til judgment day’s dawning...!




Related
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Swedish Mystique

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