[lit-ideas] Fresh access to reality

  • From: cblists@xxxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2011 15:22:04 +0200

One could be excused for thinking that the phrase 'fresh access to reality' in today's Telegraph would be found in discussion (as lately on this list) of recent findings in experimental physics.

But no:

"Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer has won the 2011 Nobel literature prize. The academy said it awarded the 80-year-old poet 'because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality.'"


After a Death
- Tomas Tranströmer
(translated by Robert Bly)

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.

One can still go slowly on skis in the winter sun
through brush where a few leaves hang on.
They resemble pages torn from old telephone directories.
Names swallowed by the cold.

It is still beautiful to hear the heart beat
but often the shadow seems more real than the body.
The samurai looks insignificant
beside his armor of black dragon scales.


Chris Bruce
in Kiel, Germany

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