DeathPoetry & ProsePsychologyReligion

Wherefore was I given life?”

Söder­gran as a child.

Where­fore was I given life?
to thun­der past every­one in a chariot of vic­tory
incess­antly fast like fate
without wit or will
long­ing for more?

Where­fore was I given life?
with ring-stud­ded hands
to grasp the shim­mer­ing bowl
the spell-sworn one
thirst­ing after more?

Where­fore was I given life?
to pass like a magic book from hand to hand
burn­ing through all souls
flash­ing like fire over ashes
thirst­ing after more?

Edith Söder­gran, “Vär­for gavs mig livet?” (from Septem­ber­lyran, 1918), my trans­la­tion.