Tomas Tranströmer Poems

Hit Title Date Added
1.
After A Death

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.
...

2.
The Indoors Is Endless

It’s spring in 1827, Beethoven
hoists his death-mask and sails off.

The grindstones are turning in Europe’s windmills.
...

3.
National Insecurity

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

4.
The Couple

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.
...

5.
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.
...

6.
November In The Former Ddr

The almighty cyclop’s-eye clouded over
and the grass shook itself in the coal dust.

Beaten black and blue by the night’s dreams
...

7.
The Half-Finished Heaven

Despondency breaks off its course.
Anguish breaks off its course.
The vulture breaks off its flight.
...

8.
Track

2 A.M. moonlight. The train has stopped

out in a field. Far off sparks of light from a town,
...

9.
Under Pressure

The blue sky's engine-drone is deafening.

We're living here on a shuddering work-site
...

10.
Streets in Shanghai

1
The white butterfly in the park is being read by many.
I love that cabbage-moth as if it were a fluttering corner of truth itself!

At dawn the running crowds set our quiet planet in motion.
Then the park fills with people. To each one, eight faces polished like jade, for all
situations, to avoid making mistakes.
To each one, there's also the invisible face reflecting 'something you don't talk about.'
Something that appears in tired moments and is as rank as a gulp of viper schnapps with its long scaly aftertaste.

The carp in the pond move continuously, swimming while they sleep, setting an example for the faithful: always in motion.

2
It's midday. Laundry flutters in the gray sea-wind high over the cyclists
who arrive in dense schools. Notice the labrinths on each side!

I'm surrounded by written characters that I can't interpret, I'm illiterate through and through.
But I've paid what I owe and have receipts for everything.
I've accumulated so many illegible receipts.
I'm an old tree with withered leaves that hang on and can't fall to the ground.

And a gust from the sea gets all these receipts rustling.

3
At dawn the trampling hordes set our quiet planet in motion.
We're all aboard the street, and it's as crammed as the deck of a ferry.

Where are we headed? Are there enough teacups? We should consider ourselves lucky
to have made it aboard this street!
It's a thousand years before the birth of claustrophobia.

Hovering behind each of us who walks here is a cross that wants to catch up with us,
pass us, unite with us.
Something that wants to sneak up on us from behind, put its hands over our eyes and
whisper 'Guess who!'

We look almost happy out in the sun, while we bleed to death from wounds we don't
know about.
...