The Nobel Prize in Literature 1974
Eyvind Johnson, Harry Martinson
Along the paths of echo backwards.
There the words lie in the chest of their old meanings.
But, sad, so foreign. What is it they are saying, those lips.
They speak of different connections and conditions.
As you listen to them speaking
they form a thing that is also changed by them
spell in a language even farther removed
in still another of the chests
inside the mount of the seven chests
thousands and thousands of years before Babylon.
By Harry Martinson
From the posthumous collection Längs ekots stigar, 1978
Translated by Stephen Klass and Carolyn Skantz
Published with the permission of Eva Martinson