Jaunā Gaita nr. 167, maijs 1988
Infinite progressions of blue gradually shade
into an Estonian childhood, my father's eyes,
the fragrant beehive of a paneled veranda
where I caught first the form of radiant windows
and my language, Finno-Ugric, not Indo-European,
a marvel of music and breathtaking brevity.
The same vowel harmonies took me later
to the labyrinthine lakes of Finland
which mirror similar constellations of the soul,
where just a transparency separates
heaven from earth, salmon leap
right through your heart, and you soon know
where the world ends and how and why.
A piece of ice tells it, so does polished glass,
but only alone on a Karelian promontory
in an August night can you touch
the Great Bear above or below you,
learn the last lore of the universe
through vour own heartbeat. This is the language
of my verse, see on mu luule keel,
in which winter is truly winter,
spring, summer, fall possess me.
I have learned other languages along the way.
It is in Estonian I still count my annual rings.
Ivar Ivask. Baltic Elegies, 1987.