The truth is lying on the street.

Today’s selection by the haunting Swedish writer and  Nobel Laureate Tomas Tranströmer  comes from the awesome nonprofit poetry powerhouse Tavern Books.


“Air Mail”

On the hunt for a letterbox
I took the letter through the city.
In the great forest of stone and concrete
fluttered the straying butterfly.

The postage stamp’s flying carpet
the swaying lines of the address
added to my sealed-in truth
right now floating above the ocean.

The Atlantic’s creeping silver.
The cloud-banks. The fishing boat
like a spat-out olive stone.
And the keel-wakes’ pallid scars.

Here below the work goes slowly.
I often glance towards the clock.
The tree shadows are black numerals
in the avaricious silence.

The truth is to be found on the ground
but no one ventures to carry it off.
The truth is lying on the street.
No one makes it his own.

translated by John F. Deane