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.
Norman, Oklahoma.



Jaunā Gaita