III

Verses 1-3 by Eino Leino (from Smiling Apollo, 1898)

Transl. by Rupert Moreton

 

 

Behold how the spumy waves they fall,

so beautifully girdle shore’s edges!

Oh, hark how the birds, so rapturous, call,

so beautifully sing in the hedges!

Oh, have you not seen the pale evening moon,

or listened to whispering forest-noon,

as over it all the clouds candy flossed,

white, in sky of the summer are tossed?

 

Advanced have you ever against the grain,

pushed way through a summertime meadow,

and caught the click of grasshoppers’ strain

and, joyful, heard thrush’s bellow?

Ever bluebells seen as they’ve gently rocked,

shrikes aloft in heavens as they have flocked

and fragrance of thousands of blooms inhaled?

This remembrance it will have prevailed.

 

Sometimes my brother turns basic everyday matters

into burdensome and complicated issues.

At the supermarket he stood for 15 minutes in front of the cold shelves pondering,

whether to buy domestic, foreign, local, organic, vegan, expensive or cheap.

 

For me the task was simple.

A good sausage is a sausage that tastes good.

Brother grabs the Kabanossi-sausages from the fridge and heads to the grill looking disappointed.

I turn the coffee machine on.

 

Have ever you blessèd occasion found

to go to the lake at morning,

as sun has arisen, its wavelets crowned,

with glittering light adorning?

Did the shimmering water reflect its calm,

did arising serene in the mist its balm

then ablute the headlands and fairy-tale isles?

Vision when seen it always beguiles.

 

Thank you, but no thanks

I know even without trying,

oat drink tastes horrible

 

The earth will be ruined

exactly because of that kind of attitude

 

I make choices

at home we recycle 

 

One should already know

mere recycling isn’t enough

 

Technology evolves

And humans regress

 

Capitalism will find the means

That’s the whole problem 

 

I do

You don’t

 

Yes, I do

No, you don’t

 

I use the public transportation

but let us at least agree

that private motoring is more pleasant