“Önskan” – Karin Boye | Old Swedish Poem with English translation


Oh let me live truly and truly die but once, so that I brush against reality in evil and in good. And let me be still and cherish all that I see, so that will that and nothing more for me. If in this long life and all it’s days was left but one, I’d search for the most beautiful thing to which the earthly life belong. The most beautiful thing on this earth is solely dignity, only that makes life into life and reality. So is the vastness of the world a leaf gathering dew, and inside it’s bowl rests a single drop of water so clear and true. This single tranquil drop is life’s most cherished thing. Oh make me worthy to peer into it! Oh make me pure!

5 thoughts on ““Önskan” – Karin Boye | Old Swedish Poem with English translation

  1. This is the most sublime experience of a poet's voice reading her or his own poetry I can imagine. Karin Boye was an enormous discovery for me.

  2. Great! What a beauty of rhythm and beautiful sounds. It is a great and profound poem, but I can't help being particularly struck by the amazing beauty of Swedish. It's certainly one of the most beautiful and expressive languages I've heard.

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