From my unpublished translation (2003). The Finnish original, Talvipalatsi, first appeared in 1959
Silver into which I chase images forcing them side by side
so they may speak.
The multi-gabled roof lacerates the winds and the birds,
north go the snow, the birds, and the grass,
antenna, an airy curlicue or
ear tuned into the wind,
greetings and goodbye,
tree tree tree and tree,
this is a song:
No time to see green before it is blown out,
and again came the spring, a bird made an attempt to sing,
and its voice blended blended,
some helpless grass,
and a house and in the house a man and a woman, a child and an elder,
nine apertures in the soul.
The spinning bonnet on the chimney’s extension-flue and three colours:
green, black, and grey,
melting snow, a forest, reeds, a river, and the boats.
Fir, pine, birch, alder-trees, and willow a bush;
the nut grows tree-size here.
And again came the spring. For long weeks a woman breathes
into it, and it cries out:
I am born, I am a girl
and I will go out alone and play in the front of the house.
Wooden birds, beaks upwards,
here I manage to say only
at autumn, at spring the wall flakes its plaster,
and snow, birds, and grass go north,
come from there and pass by here,
and the clouds flake in the sky,
the sun is not called bald,
did I say that the trees and branches of the trees,
and that the willow grows bushy, the nut occurs here?
The station platform bloomed.
As you marched along, everything hanged from your legs, from one and
the other in turns,
and a column from the very ceiling as far as to the floor
like a thick rope:
this white city in architects’ perpendicular handwriting.
I wonder how a little conversation would suit here? This one:
And winter came to the armoured car,
settled, lingered, and went away.
Snow, birds, and grass all went this way,
and winter left the oblong galoshes: heading north.
Is this one of those who crossed the Alps?
No, this is not Hannibal.
Is this an elephant, then?
No, no, this is an automobile.
But where’s Hannibal?
No, no, he is off on a trip.
You may grab your hat with both hands if you like:
wind took the birds, the sea’s swelling, trees are thinning out.
The old wing (1754-1762) is The Winter Palace
and all accordingly, the roof, the floor and
the walls full of High Creatures: Venus, Jupiter,
and women that are of a full-bodied vintage.
It’s still observable that on the River Berezina
many got their heads and their hats dropped off,
that the Brawl of Borodino was a victory;
I am speaking this under my hair.