Tomas Tranströmer

(15 April 1931 / Stockholm)

National Insecurity Poem by Tomas Tranströmer


The Under Secretary leans forward and draws an X
and her ear-drops dangle like swords of Damocles.

As a mottled butterfly is invisible against the ground
so the demon merges with the opened newspaper.

A helmet worn by no one has taken power.
The mother-turtle flees flying under the water.


translated by Robin Fulton
'New and Collected Poems', 1997, Bloodaxe Books

Submitted: Friday, October 07, 2011
Edited: Friday, October 07, 2011

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