Shortening the Candle's Wick

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Ehin website cover.jpg
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9780993505676.jpg

Shortening the Candle's Wick

12.99

Ly Seppel & Andres Ehin

translated by Ilmar Lehtpere

A poetic dialogue between two of the most celebrated Estonian poets of modern times, husband and wife Andres Ehin and Ly Seppel.

Andres Ehin is indisputably the most respected poet in Estonia in recent decades. His wife Ly Seppel is also a highly commended poet, having won the prestigious Juhan Liiv poetry prize. Celebrated Estonian translator, Ilmar Lehtpere, has compiled a selection of oustanding translations in the form of a poetic dialogue between husband and wife, incoprating larger discussions between nation and self, poet and devoted readership.

March 2018

 

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REALISATION

I lie in the rich grass
a blissful ringing in my head.
Distant voices bring me food
the way ants brought gold
to a king in olden times.

There are two horseflies.
There may even be a snake around here somewhere.
In any case there is an old mill-pond
and downstream are some rapids.
There is a thicket with three big birches across the river.

          I lie in the rich grass
          a blissful ringing in my head.
          Distant voices bring me gold
          the way kings brought food
          to an ant in olden times.

Andres Ehin

from SHORTENING THE CANDLE’S WICK

Do still come and step inside
and move through my mind,
pluck from time to time
a string on some instrument.
Touch the handle of the door,
and even make it rattle,
passing by for just a moment
let me hear you chortle.
Sit down for a little while,
don’t just keep on going,
sit down at the table
even if we aren’t eating.
Do still come and step inside
and rest your feet a bit,
in the crackling of the hearth
shift a piece of firewood.
Don’t just pass by without
me even noticing ...

Ly Seppel