Thursday, October 05, 2006

National Poetry Day

My favourite poem or poet varies from day to day, though Keats, Hardy and especially Eliot are always amongst the front runners. Sometimes Burns, sometimes Derek Walcott or Ted Hughes.

However, in honour of the perennial Estonian theme of this blog, I thought I would post the translation of a work by the Estonian poet, Jaan Kaplinski, whose work I have always enjoyed, but who not be so well known to readers here.

THE EAST-WEST BORDER is always wandering
sometimes eastward, sometimes west,
and we do not know exactly where it is just now: in Gaugamela, in the Urals,
or maybe in ourselves,
so that one ear, one eye, one nostril, one hand, one foot,
one lung and one testicle or one ovary is on the one, another on the other side.
Only the heart, only the heart is always on one side:
if we are looking northward, in the West;
if we are looking southward, in the East;
and the mouth doesn´t know on behalf of which or both it has to speak.

No comments: