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3 article(s) translated from Latvian


Spring this year arrived as clean as if in its Sunday best, and we felt embarrassed that we were still in our work clothes, our hands unwashed, with the dog in the barnyard mangy and shedding. And we didn't know whom to blame, Spring or ourselves, for being out of step. Beauty, says the old schoolteacher, should arrive unexpected, and cause a little discomfort. Translation of an untitled poem in the series "Maijs" [May] in Poēma par pienu [Poem of Milk]....

I Found a White Bean

I found a white bean: where did I plant it? In the middle of a garden on a white sandy hill. Strong and tall, the beanstalk grew all the way to the sky; up the stalk, branch by branch, I climbed until I reached the sky. There I saw a son of God tally bees by the basket; from the stingers of his bees I forged a pointed sword, with my pointed sword I slew the devil's mother. My brown coat was stained, spattered with her blood: I asked Mara1, "Where shall I wash the coat clean?" "Wash it...

I Had a Brindled Cow

I had a brindled cow, sheltered in the byre. What became of the brindled cow? I traded her for money. What became of the money? The river swept it away. What became of the river? Black bulls lapped it up. What became of the black bulls? They vanished down a long road. What became of the road? It was overgrown by madder. What became of the madder? Maidens picked the yellow flowers. What became of the maidens? They rode away with young men. What became of the men? They built manors beyond...

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