Autumn Under the Boulevard Trees, by Eeva Liisa Manner


Autumn Under the Boulevard Trees
by Eeva Liisa Manner

Everything’s mysteriously missing:
the evening as if in a dream is drifting,
The rain is sleeping in the street in puddles.

The rain is sleeping. The rain is listening
as leaves are scattered, scattered, everything…
And shadows swish and murmur in the maples.

Slowly into darkness the trees drift.
The houses sink and disappear like ships.
In the puddles, mysterious lamps turn on.

The evening, too, is scattered to the ground.
It falls into the water, dimmed and drowned.
The lamps swim off. And everything is gone.

(trans. Lola Rogers)

This is one of my favorite Eeva Liisa Manner poems, from a collection I translated several years ago. It seems to capture that strange light in autumn as darkness falls.

Here is the original poem in Finnish. It’s from the collection Kuin tuuli tai pilvi (Like Wind or Cloud).

Syys Bulevardin puiden alla

On kaikki oudon poissaolevaa:
kuin unissaan tää ilta vaeltaa
ja sade nukkuu kadun lammikoissa.

Sade nukkuu. Sade kuuntelee
kun lehdet varisevat, kaikkia varisee…
Ja varjot havisevat vaahteroissa.

Ja hämärään puut vitkaan vaeltaa.
Pois talot niinkuin laivat uppoaa.
Ja oudot lyhdyt syttyy lammikoissa.

Myös tämä ilta maahan varisee.
Se veteen putoaa, se veteen himmenee.
Pois lyhdyt uivat. Kaikki, kaikk’ on poissa.

~ by lolarusa on November 18, 2009.

4 Responses to “Autumn Under the Boulevard Trees, by Eeva Liisa Manner”

  1. Your name is Rogers? That is too strange.

  2. Perhaps we’re cousins.

  3. If there is any Italian in your background, it’s possible.

  4. This is absolutely wonderful. I was away from your blog for a while and I had forgotten just how wonderful and similar your artistic and literary sensibilities are.

    Thanks.

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