The Winds of Time
One day I stood on a small hill
looking down at the lake on the day
of storms. I watched the waves
rising and falling. Swelling
swirling, churning and spuming foam
like mad bulls in a field with no grass.
How they surge!
How they collapse and rise again!
I had seen nothing like this before.
I watched them crash and soar
driven by the winds from the West and the East -
just like our world
and our lives
which rise and fall
on the winds of time.
Watch them grab power
the way a drowning man clutches the leg of his friend!
Watch them clutch money
the way a child grips a doll
or a mad soldier grabs his rifle
to silence us.
They will rise and fall
driven by the winds of time.
The literal translation of this poem was made by Katriina Ranne
The final translated version of the poem is by The Poetry Translation Workshop
This early poem, published in 1974, is of course a political allegory, like the 2008 poem, 'Floods', we translated in the same workshop - both of which rely on the imagery of water to articulate their political intent.
© Poetry Translation Centre 2004-2014