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LAGERKVIST, Pär



I Wanted To Know


I wanted to know

but was only allowed to ask,

I wanted light

but was only allowed to burn.

I demanded the ineffable

but was only allowed to live.


I complained,

but nobody understood what I meant.



Anguish


Anguish, anguish is my heritage,

the wound of my throat,

the cry of my heart in the world.

Now the lathered sky congeals

in the coarse hand of night;

now the forests

and the rigid heights

rise barrenly against

the dwarfed vault of the sky.

How hard everything is,

how stiffened, black and silent!


I grope about this darkened room,

I feel the sharp edge of the cliff against my finger.

I tear my sore and aching hands

on the hills and darkened woods,

on the black iron of sky

and on the cold earth!


Anguish, anguish is my heritage,

the wound of my throat,

the cry of my heart in the world.