Juhan Liiv Poetry Prize 2006. The prize-winning poem by Hasso Krull

by Hasso Krull

A knot. I adjust one end
on the other, then I draw the latter
on the former, into the center of the noose.

It resembles the image
of a tree with leaves.

Now I turn the noose downwards,
onto the first end. Something
like a butterfly is formed.

I draw the noose narrower, now it is
a plain with a big stone.

I step on the plain. It is hot,
the sun shines right on my head,
haystacks are yellow, the wind smells. I come
to the stone, I creep up and sit
on the stone. It’s a peaceful evening. At an edge
of the plain there is a tree with leaves, the butterfly flies
timidly, leaping through the air,
as if drawing a knot, into the air, a series
of knots, side by side, when it suddenly
darts up and draws the nooses
together. It’s a rope
ladder. One has to ad-
just care-

fully a foot into the noose, drag one-
self up the ladder
made of knots

and look down only after getting to
the last knot. It’s not Wittgenstein’s ladder. It’s
butterfly’s ladder. I wind it up and put it
into my pocket, only now am I knotty,
only now am I loose from knots,
only now am I a butterfly, only
now I sleep.


Translated by Jüri Talvet and H. L. Hix