A blue sheen radiates from my clothes. Midwinter. Jangling tambourines of ice. I close my eyes. There is a soundless world there is a crack where dead people are smuggled across the border. — Tomas Tranströmer, “Midwinter,” Poetry International 2012. Translation: 2002, Robin Fulton. Advertisements
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
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.
I am carried in my shadow like a violin in its black case. The only thing I want to say glitters out of reach like the silver in 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)
Overhead the stars flash desperately, switched on and off by racing clouds which, only when they veil the light, reveal their presence, like those clouds of the past that wander through the soul. —Tomas Tranströmer, from “Epilogue,” Windows and Stones: Selected Poems (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1972)