“The sparks from your firesmoky eyes” by Doris Kareva

Translated from the Estonian by Tiina Aleman
http://www.wordswithoutborders.org

The sparks from your firesmoky eyes
kept the room warm for hours,
days, weeks, and months.

I recognized that feeling: the glow.
I recognized that feeling.

Although
it happened in another time, another film.

When you photographed the paradise trees
and I talked with the birds.

Neither of us tasted anything there,
did we?

Translation of “Need sädemed Su tulesuitsusilmis.” Copyright Doris Kareva. Translation copyright 2007 by Tiina Aleman. All rights reserved.

“Although it happened in another time,another film” ,the glow from her fire-smoky eyes kept the room warm for hours ,days ,months .The sparks had happened in another time and in another space. The photographic space of another film which contained the spatial situation of that time. She had captured the paradise trees on her film while he talked with the birds. Today is another film , another time,another script but the glow of the sparks from her fire-smoky eyes continues to warm the room. Together they had participated in the joint existence of the then spatial situation but neither had actually tasted the experience,per se or may be, they did.

Another interpretation could be that the sparks form her fire-smoky eyes kept the room warm for long and he recognized the glow and that feeling. When she photographed the paradise trees and he talked with the birds ,neither of them actually experienced anything or did they ? The poet probably means that the experience of the sparks from her eyes ,although it happened in another photographic space ,continued much after . But in the situation when she photographed the paradise trees and he talked with the birds ,nothing much by way of a memorable experience has actually happened.

Any number of interpretations could be placed on the meaning. The translation could perhaps have caused some confusion too. But some lovely images come along as we try to understand the the poem. ‘fire-smoky eyes” is one such usage which suggests pretty eyes full of passion hidden under swirls of smoke.”when you photographed the paradise trees and I talked with the birds” is another pretty usage employing the technique of a juxtaposition indicative of two different activities being performed by the poet and the lover.