Ett litet brev av längtan; A Little Letter of Longing; Kirje kaipauksen

Det är sant att du hade ett hårt liv,
men en sak du har haft mera än jag.
Du hade möjlighet att leva
i ditt fosterland, i Karelia,
varifrån min hela släkt jakades bort
av den röda brutala armén,
samma armé som vandaliserar
i Ukraina idag.

Jag skall aldrig finna fred för min själ
som snart återkomma hem i Karelia.
Kanske vi kan hålla varandra sällskap
och promenerar tillsammans
vid stranden av Finska viken,
plockar upp smultron i skogen
som min mamma gjorde.

Och en vacker dag ska vi gå till Petersburg, eller hur,
var min mormor född och visiterar
utanför hennes skola, kanske samma skol
som du har gått på.
Mellantid när jag är still på väg
du kan sitta på din trädgårdssoffa
och solar sig med ett litet brev
av längtan i barmen.
© Yelling Rosa
29/7–22

A Little Letter of Longing

You indeed had a hard life,
But one thing, you have had more than me.
You had the opportunity to live
In your homeland, in Karelia,
From where my whole family was chased away
By the brutal red army,
The same military that vandalizes
In Ukraine today.

I shall never find peace for my soul
That will soon return home to Karelia.
Maybe we can keep each other company
And walk together on the shores of the Gulf of Finland,
Picking up strawberries in the forest
Like my mother did.

And one day we’ll go to Petersburg, won’t we,
Where my grandmother was born
And visit outside her school,
Maybe the same school
You have attended.
Meanwhile when
I’m still on the road
You can sit on your garden sofa
And bask with a little letter
Of longing in the bosom.
© Yelling Rosa
29/7–22

I have read Edith Södergran’s poems all my life because I have experienced her as my kindred spirit. In my poem, “Ett litet brev av längtan” I refer to Edith’s ballad “En önskan” where she talks about her dream, just one small letter. Of course, it is my interpretation the letter speaks about the longing for a soulmate. Besides, I have not made my conclusion based only on that poem but on her entire production.

En önskan

A Wish

Av hela vår soliga värld

From our sunny world

önskar jag blott en trädgårdssoffa

I want only a garden sofa

där en katt solar sig …

where a cat basks…

Där skulle jag sitta

There I would sit

med ett brev i barmen,

with a letter by my breast,

ett enda litet brev.

a tiny, short letter.

Så ser min dröm ut…

Such is my dream…

Edith Södergran

Kerstin Andersson recites a poem “En önskan”.

Edith Södergran

Edith Irene Södergran (4 April 1892 – 24 June 1923) was a Swedish-speaking Finnish poet who lived and died in the village of Raivola on the Karelian Isthmus. The village of Raivola is very close to the spa town of Terijoki, where my family had a summer villa. Read more about Edith.

Karelia became part of the Soviet Union in 1944. The Soviet Union invaded Finland in 1939.

42 Replies to “Ett litet brev av längtan; A Little Letter of Longing; Kirje kaipauksen”

  1. Not many write letters these days, but the poem like the letter, sets the stage for your thoughts of home! Thank you for sharing it, and the background to it. Have a great weekend. 🙋‍♂️

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for your comment.
        If you like to read more about the Finnish Swedish poets, you will find information on Gunnar Björling in my Notebook; see the link below. There you’ll also find links to his book Solgrönt in Finnish Auringonvihreää.
        You can download the Finnish version to your computer, but the Swedish version you must read on the Internet.
        Have a nice week 🙂
        YR
        https://yellingrosa.com/wordpress/?p=4646

        Liked by 1 person

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