Poetry


From Li Kan speaks beneath the tree

Waves from all upheavals turn swiftly old
and paths from all upheavals soon become highroads.
What is left is a longing for something not
the wheel of appetites or revenges.

Man is best when he wishes good he cannot do
and stops breeding evil he finds easier to do.
He will still have a direction. It will have no end in view.
It is free from unsparing endeavor.

By Harry Martinson
From Passad, 1945
Translated by Stephen Klass

Published with the permission of Eva Martinson

To cite this section
MLA style: Poetry. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Media AB 2019. Fri. 22 Feb 2019. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/literature/1974/8442-poetry-1974-12/>

Back to top Back To Top Takes users back to the top of the page

Explore prizes and laureates

Look for popular awards and laureates in different fields, and discover the history of the Nobel Prize.