Swedish Poetry

229 (3)

Before I turned off the screen of my instagram feed on Wednesday, I stumbled upon the Swedish Church posting a part of a Karin Boye poem. I spent countless hours in the Karin Boye Library in Uppsala, writing my Master’s Thesis. In the silent room there, they had stand up display on some of the desks with her poems.


Känn så nära Verkligheten bor.
Hon andas här intill
i kvällar utan vind.
Hon kanske visar sig när ingen tror.

Solen glider över gräs och häll.
I hennes tysta lek
är livets ande gömd.
Så nära var han aldrig som i kväll.

Jag har mött en främmande, som teg.
Om jag räckt ut min hand,
jag snuddat vid hans själ,
när vi gick om varann med skygga steg.

(translated by David McDuff)

Feel how near Reality dwells.
She breathes near here
on evenings with no wind.
Perhaps when no one looks, she shows herself,

The sun glides over rock and grass.
In her silent play
life’s spirit is concealed.
Never as this evening was he so close.

I have met a stranger with silent lips.
If I had reached out my hand
I would have brushed his soul,
as we passed each other with timid steps.

008 (2)

Evening Stillness. In Farsta.

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