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Marie Under


Aasta kauneimal õhtul

Christmas Greetings 1941

Denunciation

Ecstasy

Night

Question

Summer Memory


Luuletusi kokku: 7.


Aasta kauneimal õhtul

    Aasta kauneimal õhtul
    mõte käib kaugeid kaotatud teid,
    peatudes kõigel ja lapseeast nähtul:
    täna see jälle kui aardeleid.
    Vaadates pühale puule,
    otsin palvuses neid,
    neid, keda keegi ei kuule,
    neid, keda keegi ei näe,
    keegi, ei keegi!
    
    Neile ma läidan küünalde leegi,
    neile ulatan käe. 

Christmas Greetings 1941

    I walk the silent, Christmas-snowy path,
    that goes across the homeland in its suffering.
    At each doorstep I would like to bend my knee:
    there is no house without mourning.
    
    The spark of anger flickers in sorrow's ashes,
    the mind is hard with anger, with pain tender:
    there is no way of being pure as Christmas
    on this white, pure-as-Christmas path.
    
    Alas, to have to live such stony instants,
    to carry on one's heart a coffin lid!
    Not even tears will come any more -
    that gift of mercy has run out as well.
    
    I'm like someone rowing backwards:
    eyes permanently set on past -
    backwards, yes - yet reaching home at last ...
    my kinsmen, though, are left without a home...
    
    I always think of those who were torn from here...
    The heavens echo with the cries of their distress.
    I think that we are all to blame
    for what they lack - for we have food and bed!
    
    Shyly, almost as in figurative language,
    I ask without believing it can come to pass:
    Can we, I wonder, ever use our minds again
    for sake of joy and happiness?
    
    
    Now light and darkness join each other,
    towards the stars the parting day ascends.
    The sunset holds the first sign of the daybreak -
    It is as if, abruptly, night expands.
    
    All things are ardent, serious and sacred,
    snow's silver leaf melts on my lashes' flame,
    I feel as though I'm rising ever further:
    that star there, is it calling me by name?
    
    And then I sense that on this day they also
    are raising eyes to stars, from where I hear
    a greeting from my kinsfolk, sisters, brothers,
    in pain and yearning from their prison's fear.
    
    This is our talk and dialogue, this only,
    a shining signal - oh, read, and read! -
    with thousand mouths - as if within their glitter
    the stars still held some warmth of breath inside.
    
    The field of snow dividing us grows smaller:
    of stars our common language is composed....
    It is as if we d started out for one another,
    were walking, and would soon meet on the road.
    
    For an instant it will die away, that 'When? When?'
    forever pulsing in you in your penal plight,
    and we shall meet there on that bridge in heaven,
    face to face we'll meet, this Christmas nigh

Denunciation

    I cry aloud with all my people's mouths,
    our land is smitten by a plague of fear and lead,
    our land is shadowed by the gallows tree
    our land   a common graveyard, huge with dead.
    
    Who'll come to help? Right here, at present, now!
    Because the patient's weak, has lost his hold.
    But, like the call of birds, my shouting fades
    in emptiness: the world is arrogant and cold.
    
    The sighing of the old, the baby's cry --
    do they all run to sand, illusion, fail?
    Men, women groan like wounded deer
    to those in power all this is just a fairy-tale.
    
    Dark is the world's eye, its ear is deaf,
    the powerful lost in madness or stupidity.
    Compassion's only felt by those whom suffering breaks,
    and sufferers alone have hearts    like you and me 

Ecstasy

    Ah, earthly life burns in a myriad splendours
    Not even deaths dark hazard can destroy.
    I yield, a willing prisoner, to joy;
    I never sorted with discreet pretenders.
    And as the shaken glaucous wave engenders
    Spindrift, so my green falling silks deploy
    A froth, and all is stripped to the last toy,
    And, caught in ecstasy, my sense surrenders.
    
    Why does the blossom wanton in the light,
    The blue horizon lure me to its border?
    My body too is of their bent and order:
    My every nerve vibrates to rapt delight,
    And I distrain my life of its last treasure
    As if my mounting days had brimmed their measure. 

Night

     
    Over the garden the moons tide tumbles;
    Shrubs are shaken by gusts and tremblings;
    Pathways ribbon with sudden dissemblings
    Towards the threshold where false foot stumbles.
    Out of the soil of midnight, tender,
    Lift my arms white tendrils and, weaving,
    Motion to someone shadowy and absent,
    Someone who tarries somewhere, perhaps may not be existent.
    
    Oh, do I fear the days of torrid splendour,
    Nights full of flowers? Oh, do I fear when I see that
    These would not yield to the ultimate depths of my choosing?
    My heart is breaking little by little
    As a ripe pomegranate, skin parched brittle,
    Breaks: full loving is prelude to losing.
    
    Cords are unknotted, the covers have parted,
    And I rise winged from where I have smarted.
    Oh, do I fear now what heart discloses,
    All these desires in fevered legions?
    And shall I gather the pure cold roses,
    Open and waiting in those white regions,
    Towards which the days have died and the nights have faded,
    And my blue sail wafts a burning soul that has loved as they
    Did? 

Question

    We saw those berries, over-ripe and glowing,
    in weak and tepid light of the October sun
    persisting red as blood, in right full-growing,
    without much inkling of the winter clouds to come.
    
    And then a wind-gust brushed those heavy bunches:
    and some of them burst, falling to the ground
    on wilted grass, soon after, under branches
    gold leaves with purple berries lay around.
    
    And hand in hand we walked uphill together
    and pushed by the capricious wind's bad weather,
    eye to eye, as in anxiety, we asked:
    
    our love's moist, joyful red in present flowering,
    will life's wind carry it away, devouring,
    
    or will it fall to the grave's soil, and last? 

Summer Memory

    The door ajar, I stood at point of day,
    Tiptoe for you and with awakened eyes.
    The suns gold slipper trod the gravelled way,
    
    The grasses spilled their dews in glad surprise-
    And then you came out of a mist of flowers
    That clung and swayed like knots of butterflies!
    
    When afterwards we two, in softened hours,
    Walked through the fields of rye all red for reaping,
    I felt as if my heart obeyed new powers:
    
    The old in me seemed either dead or sleeping,
    And as I glimpsed the poppies fluttering fire,
    An eager pleasure set my pulses leaping.
    
    And you, these sang, could give me my desire.