Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Do Not Be Afraid Of Life. Echidne's Poetry Hour.

A musical adaptation of Kaarlo Sarkia's poem:

A rough translation of the lyrics (by me and without the rhyme):

Do not be afraid of life
Do not deny its beauty.
Welcome it into your house
or if you're homeless,
meet it on the road,
do not turn your back to it.

Death will not slam its door in your face.
Like a bird, fly,
do not evict the present while hiding
among the ruins of the past.
Leave behind what has passed,
leave the dead in their graves,
endeavor to meet the future.
Be free, unchained, like the wind:
The gates of death stand always open.

Never say:
"This is mine, for ever."
Get drunk from the chalice of life,
but when needed, give it up without pain.
The riches of the world are yours
when you ask to own nothing.
Live fearlessly, staking all on this one card:
You always see the open gates of death.

The link above describes Sarkia as the poet of despair and that is true.  But I always found this poem to be optimistic in a sense which appeals to us true pessimists.  What's the hurry, really, it says.  This is a game in which you can only win, it says,  because of the way the stakes are set and the odds calculated by the House. -- I think of this poem as the card that's up your sleeve when you've played all the others and lost.