Thursday, October 13, 2011

Faved!: Tomas Tranströmer

The Nobel committees stated that the decision was made due to his "condensed, translucent images ... fresh access to reality." I have no reason not to agree with their decision. 

Thus, to celebrate Tranströmer (who received the Nobel Prize in Literature), here are four of his many mystical and haunting poems translated from his Swedish mother tongue to English. Enjoy! 

 (Image courtesy of: linked)

After a Death 

Once there was a shock 
that left behind a long, shimmering comet tail. 
It keeps us inside. It makes the TV pictures snowy. 
It settles in cold drops on the telephone wires. 

One can still go slowly on skis in the winter sun 
through brush where a few leaves hang on. 
They resemble pages torn from old telephone directories. 
Names swallowed by the cold. 

It is still beautiful to hear the heart beat 
but often the shadow seems more real than the body. 
The samurai looks insignificant 
beside his armor of black dragon scales. 

April and Silence  

Spring lies deserted. 
The velvet-dark ditch 
crawls by my side without reflections. 
All that shines 
are yellow flowers. 
I’m carried in my shadow 
like a violin in its black case. 
 The only thing I want to say 
gleams out of reach 
like the silver 
in a pawnshop.  

Landscape with Suns  

The sun emerges from behind the house 
stands in the middle of the street 
and breathes on us 
with its red wind. 
Innsbruck I must leave you. 
But tomorrow 
there will be a glowing sun 
in the gray, half-dead forest 
where we must work and live. 


A blue light 
radiates from my clothing. 
Clattering tambourines of ice. 
I close my eyes. 
There is a silent world 
there is a crack 
where the dead 
are smuggled across the border.

0 poetic mutterings: