Whoever doesn’t live in poetry cannot survive here on earth. ― Halldór Laxness, Under the Glacier. (Vintage, March 8, 2005) Originally published 1968.
Solitary Swedish Houses A mix-max of black spruce and smoking moonbeams. Here’s the croft lying low and not a sign of life. Till the morning dew murmurs and an old man opens – with a shaky hand – his window and lets out an owl. Further off, the new building stands steaming with the laundry… Continue reading Tomas Tranströmer
I looked at the sky and at the earth and straight ahead and since then I’ve been writing a long letter to the dead on a typewriter with no ribbon just a horizon line so the words knock in vain and nothing sticks. — Tomas Tranströmer, from “Baltics,” The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems, translated… Continue reading Tomas Tranströmer
She awakens first at the touch of love; before that time she is a dream, yet in her dream life we can distinguish two stages: in the first, love dreams about her; in the second, she dreams about love. — Søren Kierkegaard, The Seducer’s Diary. (Princeton University Press August 18, 1997) Originally published 1843.
There’s a tree walking around in the rain, it rushes past us in the pouring grey. It has an errand. It gathers life out of the rain like a blackbird in an orchard. When the rain stops so does the tree. There it is, quiet on clear nights waiting as we do for the moment… Continue reading Tomas Tranströmer
Moths settle down on the pane: small pale telegrams from the world. — Tomas Tranströmer, from “Lamento,” The Half-Finished Heaven: The Best Poems of Tomas Transtromer. (Graywolf Press; 2nd prt. edition October 1, 2001) Originally published 1962.
When the night falls I stand on the stairs and listen, the stars swarm in the garden and I stand out in the darkness. Hear, a star fell with a clang. Do not walk on the grass with bare feet; my garden is full of shards. — Edith Södergran, “The Stars,” Love and Solitude: Selected… Continue reading Edith Södergran