Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Dostoyevsky - Elmer Diktonius

A city.
A lane.
A beggar.
A whore.
Dark.
Wet.

This scurvy-ridden mouth!
This lank hair!
This vodka-babbling voice!
Wretchedness!
Oh!

Then you come; silently.
You kiss that mouth.
You put your hand on the hair.
You go; silently.

The voice falls dumb.
The leer dies.
But I shout:
Wherefore all this?
Tomorrow it’ll all be just the same!

But it’s not all the same.
Your memory lives on,
your Christ-gaze,
your Christ-silence,
in all of us whom you caressed,
in all of us whom you kissed
little brother

Elmer Diktonius (1896 - 1961) Finland
Translated by David McDuff
Source: Nordic Voices in Print

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