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.

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