This prose poem by the Swedish poet and Nobel Laureate Tomas Tranströmer (1931-) stops me in my tracks. I would never have encountered the piece had it not been for Tavern Books, a wonderful nonprofit organization that prints, promotes, and preserves poetry, especially translated or long-forgotten works. They have the great honor of publishing more individual books by Tranströmer than any other English-language press in the world. Do yourself a favor and check them out, too.
I inherited a dark wood to which I seldom go. But a day will come when the dead and the living change places. Then the wood will begin to stir. We are not without hope. The most serious crimes remain unsolved despite the efforts of many policeman. In the same way there exists, somewhere in our lives, a great love, unsolved. I inherited a dark wood but today I am going into another wood, the bright one. Every living thing that sings, wriggles, oscillates, and crawls! It is spring and the air is very strong. I have a degree from oblivion’s university and am empty-handed as the shirt on the clothesline.