Eeva Kilpi, “September”

SYYSKUU

Nämä minuudet joiksi hajoan,
anteeksi vain,
ne eivät ole suurellisuutta,
ne ovat luonnonilmiö,
ne ovat kasvullisuutta,
monimuotoisuutta
josta emme ole olleet tietoisia,
inhimillistä jakautumista,
suvutonta ja suvullista,
hengen hedelmää.
Mitä ovat eläimet?
Mitä eläimet ovat?
Ne ovat minua.
Ne ovat rihmastoani
joka haukkuu niityllä,
vilistää taloni ohi pimeässä.
Minä, itiöemä,
tarkkailen niitä ikkunasta,
kuulostelen ja haistan.
Koko ajan pelkään niiden puolesta
kuin jäsenteni menettämistä.
Ja enemmänkin.
Minähän olen vain osa kaikkea.
Minä kaiun.

SEPTEMBER

These selves into which I shatter,
forgive me,
are not a grandiosity.
They are a natural phenomenon.
They are a vegetation,
a polymorphism
of which we have been unaware,
human division,
asexual and sexual,
the fruit of the spirit.*
What are animals?
What, indeed, are animals?
They are me.
They are my mycelium,
yelping in the meadow,
scurrying past my house in the dark.
I, spore mother,**
watch them from the window,
listening to them, scenting them.
I am always afraid for them,
as if afraid of losing my limbs.
And more.
I am just a part of everything,
reverberating.

Source: Eeva Kilpi, Kuolinsiivous (WSOY, 2012). Translation and photo by Living in FIN

* Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

** The word in Finnish is itiöemä, a compound of itiö (“spore”) +‎ emä (“mother” or “womb”), meaning “a sporocarp or fruiting body of a fungus.” Since neither “sporocarp” nor “fruiting body” sounds particularly poetic, and since Ms. Kilpi’s usage of the word here is as metaphorical as it is scientific, I opted for the non-scientific but etymologically and poetically more satisfying “spore mother.”

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