52 SONGS

...the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life...

Monday, April 27, 2015

Tomas Tranströmer

I just learned that he died, a little over a month ago. Below is a poem of his, translated by Robert Bly.
 
Romanesque Arches

Tourists have crowded into the half-dark of 
           the enormous Romanesque church.
Vault opening behind vault and no perspective.
A few candle flames flickered.
An angel whose face I couldn’t see embraced me
and his whisper went all through my body:
“Don’t be ashamed to be a human being, be proud!
Inside you one vault after another opens endlessly.
You’ll never be complete, and that’s as it should be.”
Tears blinded me
as we were herded out into the fiercely sun-lit piazza,
together with Mr. and Mrs. Jones, Herr Tanaka 
           and Signora Sabatini;
within each of them vault after vault opened endlessly.


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