Poems from Kuningasvesi (‘Aqua Regia’, WSOY, 1999). Introduction by Peter Mickwitz
Aqua regia, aqua regia, thus dissolve into you tallow candles and wing-wax, and in the distilled sun's bowl gold's will is broken. Equal in you are ergot and lightning-rod platinum, no difference between feather and lead, if you perish to become what you love you are the dawn's own.
He is a man who takes the measure of words as if each one of them were an angel. Rarely do they agree peaceably to dance with gravity.
You can see him sowing his hymns under the wrong balconies, and that is when even one stammering syllable feels like lightning striking your hip.
Sufficient ransom, if you remember the name oft he one you long for. His own the man curses like a fleur de lys, burnt seal on a shoulder.
You citizen of the world and the barrel troublemaker in the town square Whose heart is a mustard seed and whose memory-is quicklime Who fraternizes with stray dogs and hates coins more than fleas Tell us what they taste like raw cuttlefish and lupine What it feels like to search lantern in hand for the sun buried in shame Tell us how great is the freedom envied even by Alexander How small an empire compared to a slave's brash request: 'Sell me to that man. He needs a master.'
Translated by Anselm Hollo
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