Pentti Saarikoski, “Birthday”

mushroom

Syntymäpäivä

Kun syksy on syksy ja hatussa on mustetta,
kaksikymmentäkolme vuotta on auki yhtaikaa,
kissa katsoo ja jokaisen vuoden pohjalla on
syksy kun on syksy, syysmetsä, ja metsässä kasvaa
sieni, ja kissa syö sienen ja kuolee äkkiä:
kaksikymmentäkolme vuotta menee yhtaikaa kiinni.

Birthday

When autumn is autumn, and ink is on the brain,
twenty-three years is simultaneously open.
The cat watches, and underlying every year is
autumn when it is autumn, an autumnal forest, and in the forest grows
a mushroom. The cat eats the mushroom and suddenly dies.
Twenty-three years simultaneously come to a close.

1961

Source: Pentti Saarikoski, Runot (Otava, 2004), p. 93. Translation and photo by Living in FIN. For my childhood friend Lyle Enderson on his birthday.

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