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Tomas Tranströmer

Overhead the stars flash desperately,switched on and off by racing cloudswhich, only when they veil the light, revealtheir presence, like those clouds of the pastthat wander through the soul. —Tomas Tranströmer, from “Epilogue,” Windows and Stones: Selected Poems (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1972)

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Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fragment · Passage · Poetry · Swedish Culture · Swedish Literature

Tomas Tranströmer

Overhead the stars flash desperately,switched on and off by racing cloudswhich, only when they veil the light, revealtheir presence, like those clouds of the pastthat wander through the soul. —Tomas Tranströmer, from “Epilogue,” Windows and Stones: Selected Poems (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1972)

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Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fragment · Passage · Poetry · Swedish Culture · Swedish Literature

Tomas Tranströmer

I am carried in my shadowlike a violinin its black case. The only thing I want to sayglitters out of reachlike the silverin a pawnbroker’s. —Tomas Tranströmer, from “April and Silence” The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems, translated from the Swedish by Robin Fulton (New Directions Books,  2006)

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Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fragment · Passage · Poetry · Swedish Culture · Swedish Literature

Tomas Tranströmer

There’s a tree walking around in the rain,it rushes past us in the pouring grey.It has an errand. It gathers lifeout of the rain like a blackbird in an orchard. When the rain stops so does the tree.There it is, quiet on clearnights waiting as we do for the momentwhen the snowflakes blossom in space.… Continue reading Tomas Tranströmer

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Janice D. Soderling

Evenings I sit in the hostel kitchen, writing, with a pot of strong tea and a candle for comfort. The immense quiet is broken only by those snaps and creaks that inhabit old houses. I am partial to old things: old peeling doors, rusty gates, overgrown paths. Old things know how to relinquish the past;… Continue reading Janice D. Soderling

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Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fragment · Passage · Poetry · Swedish Culture · Swedish Literature

Tomas Tranströmer

I looked at the sky and at the earth and straight aheadand since then I’ve been writing a long letter to the deadon a typewriter with no ribbon just a horizon lineso the words knock in vain and nothing sticks. —  Tomas Tranströmer, from “Baltics,” The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems, translated from the Swedish… Continue reading Tomas Tranströmer

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Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fragment · Passage · Poetry · Swedish Culture · Swedish Literature

Tomas Tranströmer

The airy sky has taken its place leaning against the wall.It is like a prayer to what is empty.And what is empty turns its face to usand whispers:‘I am not empty, I am open.’ — Tomas Tranströmer, from “Vermeer,” The Winged Energy of Delight. Translation by Robert Bly. (Harper Perennial May 10, 2005)

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Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Poetry · Swedish Culture · Swedish Literature

Tomas Tranströmer

On a winter morning you feel how this earth plunges ahead. Against the house walls an air current smacks out of hiding. Surrounded by movement: the tent of calm. And the secret helm in the migrating flock. Out of the winter gloom a tremolo rises from hidden instruments. It is like standing under summer’s high… Continue reading Tomas Tranströmer

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