We are not without hope.

In the spirit of resurrecting some of my favorite poems from the last 10 years–and in the spirit of posting more hopeful work–here’s a gorgeous prose poem from the great Swedish poet and Nobel Laureate Tomas Tranströmer (1931-2015).

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“Madrigal”

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.

But a day will come when the dead and living change places.

We are not without hope, indeed.

Farewell to the dear Swedish poet and Nobel Laureate, Tomas Tranströmer (1931-2015). Here’s a prose poem of his I’ve posted before but have always loved.

Sweden Nobel Literature

“Madrigal”

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.

in those who are unable to speak but know how to listen

I believe the wonderful Swedish poet Malena Mörling (1965-) makes an appearance on this blog every April, so I’m keeping with that tradition today.

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“In the Yellow Head of a Tulip”

In the yellow head of a tulip
in the sound of the wind entangled in the forest
in the haphazard combination of things
for sale on the sidewalk
an iron next to a nail-clipper next to a can of soup
next to a starling’s feather
in the silence inside of stone
in tea in music in desire in butter in torture 
in space that flings itself out in the universe
in every direction at once without end
despite walls despite grates and ceilings
and bulletproof glass
the sun falls though without refracting 
in the wind hanging out its own sheets 
on all the empty clotheslines 
in the bowels of rats
in their tiny moving architectures
in a world that is always moving
in those who are unable to speak but know how to listen
in your mother who is afraid of her own thoughts
in her fear in her death
in her own derelict loneliness
in the garden late at night
between the alder tree and the ash
she rocks herself to sleep in the hammock
a little drunk and wayward
in everything she is that you are not
in the well of the skull 
in the fish that you touch
in the copper water
in its breath of water 
in your breath, the single bubble rising 
that could be you
that could be me
that could be nothing