April 16, 2015

A poem I've read dozens of times over the years suddenly appears as though I'd never seen it before. This is not unlike the effect of spring's first blossoms. Has the world ever seemed so charged? When the book fell open to "Elegy," I remembered this was the poem I'd been waiting for all my life.

Tomas Tranströmer
ELEGY
            (translated by Robin Fulton)

I open the first door.
It's a large sunlit room.
A heavy car goes past in the street
and makes the porcelain tremble.

I open door number two.
Friends! You drank the darkness
and became visible.

Door number three. A narrow hotel-room.
Outlook on a back street.
A lamp sparking on the asphalt.
Beautiful slag of experiences.

From Tomas Transtromer, New Collected Poems, trans. Robin Fulton. Bloodaxe Books, 2011. Reproduced with kind permission of  the publisher.

(Girts Gailans, courtesy Red Edge Images)

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