Saturday, April 20, 2013

To Butch on Change

This poem by the Swedish author and poet Karin Boye (October 26, 1900 - April 24, 1941) has always meant a lot to me when I run into hateful changes in my personal life. It gives me hope and optimism, even though everything looks dark.

My dearest Butch, this is my way of telling you that I totally agree with you, Life is change and change is life, but to me that doesn't always exclude the possibility that both life and change can suck sometimes...

I have always loved Karin's own reading best, unfortunately I can only find a recording in which she reads the first verse, but still it gives you a sense of rhythm and how it - in my opinion - can best be read.

YES, OF COURSE IT HURTS (Interpreted by David McDuff in "Karin Boye: Complete Poems")

Yes, of course it hurts when buds are breaking.
Why else would the springtime falter?
Why would all our ardent longing
bind itself in frozen, bitter pallor?
After all, the bud was covered all the winter.
What new thing is it that bursts and wears?
Yes, of course it hurts when buds are breaking,
hurts for that which grows
                    and that which bars.

Yes, it is hard when drops are falling.
Trembling with fear, and heavy hanging,
cleaving to the twig, and swelling, sliding -
weight draws them down, though they go on clinging.
Hard to be uncertain, afraid and divided,
hard to feel the depths attract and call,
yet sit fast and merely tremble -
hard to want to stay
                    and want to fall.

Then, when things are worst and nothing helps
the tree's buds break as in rejoicing,
then, when no fear holds back any longer,
down in glitter go the twig's drops plunging,
forget that they were frightened by the new,
forget their fear before the flight unfurled -
feel for a second their greatest safety,
rest in that trust
                    that creates the world.

1 comment :

  1. Thank you for sharing that wonderful (and wise) poem!

    As I said before, I am sure you will take the plunge when the time is right for you.
    "forget being frightened by the new"


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