Kaarlo Sarkia

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Kaarlo Sarkia (11 May 1902 – 16 November 1945) was a Finnish poet and translator who was influenced by romantic poetry. His poems include motifs like childhood memories, love, landscapes and dreamworld, and in his last collection of poetry also his personal death and mankind's sufferings. Together with Uuno Kailas, Sarkia was the most prominent Finnish poet of the 1930s. As Kailas, his poetry also had homosexual themes.

  • Your joy is only moment’s exhalation,
at most a blink of eye is your dejection.
As sweetly falls your silent sleep’s protection
you sink in soft earth’s breast, like wheat’s oblation.
Thus Beauty, whose completed germination
was hindered by unfinished life’s perfection,
will in your dying see a resurrection –
a thousand-fold its great reanimation.
For when you’re in your grave you’re handed over
to probing roots of lilac and of lime tree,
to buds the sap is drawn above the clover
aflame to burst in summer’s honeyed finery
of blossomed trees, and so your radiant dreaming
will sweet fulfilment find in springtime’s teeming.

(Translation by Rupert Moreton)

  • Vain henkäyksen verran riemus kesti,
vain silmänräpäyksen tuskas syvä.
Maan helmaan lempeään kuin peltoon jyvä
nukahdat hiljaa, uinut suloisesti.
Niin Kauneus, min täyden kasvun esti
tään elos vajavuus, nyt täydentyvä
on kuolemassas, muotoon ylentyvä
kukoistavaan ja uuteen tuhannesti.
Maa sinut sireenien, niinipuiden
suo hautaas haparoiviin valkojuuriin,
vie suonet umpuihin, ja suvikuiden
tulessa kukkiin hunajaisiin, suuriin
puut puhkeaa – näin untes säteileväin
suloista täyttymystä kantaa keväin.

(Lingua Fennica)

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