/ Michigan quarterly review: Vol. 13, No. 2
PAR LAGERKVIST POEMS (Translated by W. H. Auden with Leif Sj6berg) My friend is a stranger, someone I do not know. A stranger far far away. For his sake my heart is full of disquiet because he is not with me. Because, perhaps, after all he does not exist. Who are you who so fill my heart with your absence? Who fill the entire world with your absence? You who existed before the mountains and the clouds, before the sea and the winds. You whose beginning is before the beginning of all things, and whose joy and sorrow are older than the stars. You who from eternity have wandered among the stars of the Milky Way and through the great darknesses between them. You who were alone before loneliness, and whose heart was full of disquiet before any human heartdo not forget me. But how could you possibly remember me? How could the sea possibly remember the sea-shell that once it surged through. * * * 138
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