Tomas Tranströmer Poems
- After A Death Once there was a shock that left behind a ...
- The Indoors Is Endless It’s spring in 1827, Beethoven hoists...
- Outskirts Men in overalls the same color as earth rise from a...
- The Couple They switch off the light and its white ...
- National Insecurity The Under Secretary leans forward and ...
- November In The Former Ddr The almighty cyclop’s-eye clouded ...
- The Half-Finished Heaven Despondency breaks off its ...
a Swedish writer, poet and translator, whose poetry has been deeply influential in Sweden, as well as around the world. He was the recipient of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature "because, through his condensed, transluscent images, he gives us fresh access to reality".
Tranströmer received his secondary education at the Södra Latin School in Stockholm and graduated as a psychologist from Stockholm University in 1956. He began writing at thirteen, and published his first collection of poems, 17 dikter (Seventeen Poems) in 1954. An English translation by Robin Fulton of his entire body of work, New Collected Poems, was published in the UK in 1987 and expanded in 1997. ... more »
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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.
translated by Robert Bly