Featured Poem

Cows come from the sea...

Cows come from the sea
on this morning at the beginning of time
blue-green cows
udders full of salty sea milk
and the Sea Mother drives them ashore
with a switch of sea-grass

Sea Maidens come keep the cows
and keep yourselves
from lecherous herders by night
In autumn may a hundred blue-green cows
be back here in the bay between mottled stones
May their horns glisten in the mist
and may your eyes sparkle
But keep your hearts clear and cool
like the morning dew

You will never get used to the life of human women
it puts fetters on the heart
dreams are never fulfilled
and feelings only give rise to grief
People are beautiful but cruel
They keep to their kin like insects
they gather the gold of dreams by night
squander it all away in the morning

To become someone’s own means being
dangerously close to a human star

But your eyes are like the sea of the world
stars drown in it

Sea Maidens come keep the cows
But keep your hearts clear and cool
like the morning dew

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About the translation:
» Read translator's notes
Kristiina Ehin
Ilmar Lehtpere
Original language:
Series 3 No. 13 - Transplants

About the author

Kristiina Ehin

Original poet

Kristiina Ehin

Kristiina Ehin was born in Rapla, Estonia in 1977. She received an M.A. in Comparative and Estonian Folklore from Tartu Univer...

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Ilmar Lehtpere


Ilmar Lehtpere

Ilmar Lehtpere had a bilingual upbringing in Estonian and English and is Kristiina Ehin's English language translator. The Dru...

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