Tomas Tranströmer

(15 April 1931 / Stockholm)

Outskirts


Men in overalls the same color as earth rise from a ditch.
It's a transitional place, in stalemate, neither country nor city.
Construction cranes on the horizon want to take the big leap,
but the clocks are against it.
Concrete piping scattered around laps at the light with cold tongues.
Auto-body shops occupy old barns.
Stones throw shadows as sharp as objects on the moon surface.
And these sites keep on getting bigger
like the land bought with Judas' silver: 'a potter's field for
burying strangers.'


translated by Robert Bly

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

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  • Carla Willard (1/2/2014 9:41:00 AM)

    This is a terrible translation of the original. Sorry, Robert, but you have a dead-pan ear. (Report) Reply

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