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Buoy the population of the soul
Toward their destination before they drown
~ Robert Pinsky
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Tuesday, 5. December 2006

Morning Bird Songs - Tomas Tranströmer



I wake up my car; pollen covers the windshield. I put my dark glasses on. The bird songs all turn dark.

Meanwhile someone is buying a paper at the railroad station not far from a big freight car reddened all over with rust. It shimmers in the sun.

The whole universe is full.

A cool corridor cuts throught the spring warmth; a man comes hurrying past describing how someone right up in the main office has been telling lies about him.

Through a backdoor in the landscape the magpie arrives, black and white, bird of the death goddess. A blackbird flies back and forth until the whole scene becomes a charcoal drawing, except for the white clothes on the line: a Palestrina choir.

The whole universe is full!

Fantastic to feel how my poem is growing while I myself am shrinking. It's getting bigger, it's taking my place, it's pressing against me. It has shoved me out of the nest. The poem is finished.

Translated from the Swedish by Robert Bly

Note: I have nothing to scribble here today; I ate a big Christmas-y dinner with a glass (or two) of merlot, and a big serving of chocolate truffles. When the night is a chilled moonlit lampshade, I turn to Tranströmer's poetry for his knife edged images, which read more like Biblical revelations. For some years now, he is rumoured to be in the running for the Nobel, and I, for one, would be cheering if and when he gets it.




Big Book Of Poetry

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