Once there was a shock
that left behind a long, shimmering comet tail.
It keeps us inside. It makes the TV pictures snowy.
It settles in cold drops on the telephone wires.
It’s spring in 1827, Beethoven
hoists his death-mask and sails off.
The grindstones are turning in Europe’s windmills.
The Under Secretary leans forward and draws an X
and her ear-drops dangle like swords of Damocles.
They switch off the light and its white shade
glimmers for a moment before dissolving
like a tablet in a glass of darkness. Then up.
a Swedish writer, poet and translator, whose poetry has been deeply influential in Sweden, as well as around the world. He was the recipient of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature "because, through his condensed, transluscent images, he gives us fresh access to reality".
Tranströmer received his secondary education at the Södra Latin School in St ...