lauantai 18. huhtikuuta 2009

"Spring" ("Kevät", 1947) by Lauri Viita

I thought I might as well share this translation of a poem by Lauri Viita (1916-1965).

Räntäseula seudun päällä,
saappaan alla lotinaa,
lantajuova järven jäällä —
kesä tulee, ihanaa!

Upon the field — a sieve of sleet —
Slush is splashing underboot.
Upon the lake — a dungy strake —
'Twill be summer — wonderful!


Maybe "dungy strake" (a previous version had a word rhyming with "sleet") calls for a commentary, in view of the non-Finnish-speaking readership? Back in the day, fertilizer — manure, dung — used to be transported, in early spring, to the fields with sley across the ice (we have ca. 60.000 lakes in Finland). "Strake" is a synonym of "streak" ("strake" rhymes with "lake").

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