A seed, knocking

Jyväsjärvi161206.jpgA Mordovian winter seems endless, especially if you are going to see seven of them in succession, and not by choice.

But under the snow, a seed is knocking:

klauvetheseedisknockingtheseedisknockingklauve

seedinsnow_boaeditionsThis strong collection of poems from Latvian writer Knuts Skujenieks, could not be published until the fall of the Soviet Union, but has since been translated into more than 30 languages, but only made it into English a few months ago. Seed in Snow, translated by Bitite Vinklers, is perhaps best read now, in the depths of winter.

Skujenieks sent hundreds of poems back from Mordovia to Latvia in letters to his wife, where they were passed around in manuscript, but only published in 2002. He emphasises that this is not “gulag poetry”, but “poetry written in the gulag.” He had more freedom to write in prison than outside, without “literary groups or regulations”, relying on his imagination:

esdzirduihearihearesdzirdu

Most of all, the images of nature stay with you – seen through the fence or through the eyes of Skujenieks’ memory:

saulesenthesunthesunsaulesen

The photo of another sunset is from rather further north than either Riga or Mordovia – Jyväskylä, where I live. Under the snow and ice, a seed is knocking…

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in books, poetry, translation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

advent Alice in Wonderland American And Other Stories Antonia Lloyd-Jones Arabic Barańczak Beowulf Bible books Brazil Brazilian Portuguese British British Library Buddhism Central Europe Children's Books Children's literature Chinese Christmas Christmas Carols Clare Cavanagh Contemporary Czesław Miłosz Dari Edinburgh Festival English Estonian Eugene Ostashevsky Europe European Literature Night Facebook Fantasy Farsi Fiction Finland Finland 100 Finlandia Prize Finnish Flemish Free Word Centre French friends George Szirtes German Greek Hebrew Herbert Lomas Herta Müller history Hobbit Hungarian Idioms Illustration international International Translation Day Italian J. R. R. Tolkien Japanese Jenny Erpenbeck Jewish Johanna Sinisalo Korean Language language learning Languages Latin left-handed Literature Lola Rogers Lord of the Rings Mabinogion Man Booker International Prize Maori Maria Turtschaninoff Mirkka Rekola Moomins New Year Nobel Prize Old English Oxford English Dictionary PEN Translation Prize Persian Philip Boehm Pippi Longstocking Poetry Poetry Translation Centre Polish Portuguese pubilc libraries Roald Dahl Romanian Rosa Liksom Russian Ryszard Kapuściński Salla Simukka Seamus Heaney Shakespeare Short Stories Slovene Sofi Oksanen Spanish Stanisław Barańczak Susan Bernofsky Svetlana Alexievich Swedish Switzerland Tadeusz Różewicz Terhi Ekebom Thomas Teal Tibetan Tove Jansson Translation translator Translators Without Borders Valentine's Day Wales Warsaw Welsh Wisława Szymborska Witold Szabłowski Women in Translation Month words Words without Borders writing

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow found in translation on WordPress.com
%d bloggers like this: