Tomas Tranströmer

Red Sky Over Beach by Turner

The airy sky has taken its place leaning against the wall.
It is like a prayer to what is empty.
And what is empty turns its face to us
and whispers:
"I am not empty, I am open."

last stanza from Vermeer
by Tomas Tranströmer,
2011 Nobel Prize Winner in Literature
read the entire poem, here


J Cosmo Newbery said...

Read the whole thing. Intriguing. I love the clarity of it - it takes you into a Vermeer painting and beyond without a lot of the obscure pretending to be deep that ruins a lot of free verse for me.

goatman said...

"but we have no choice, it's all one world" is a great thought. The walls are us, or made up by us, or approached by us, or walked through by us if we do not fear them.
Gone is the month of fear and dark, now to the spring and renewal all around.
It teases me with a day of warm and birdsong followed by a chill from Canada (I hope they hurry up with that wall). Outside anyway, I seek sign.

red dirt girl said...

It is a beautiful poem, translated, which must mean it is even more beautiful in its native language. I'm now wishing I had posted its entirety. Maybe I'll go back and do that.

Indeed, March is time for airy skies and empty spaces saying, 'I'm open. I'm open.' A time for entering in and moving past our walls. Even the ones we create to corral our dark February thoughts. Which turned out not to be so dark as to be darkly sardonic.

I, too, am seeking signs. It happens so briefly here ... the carolina jessamine is already spent. No hints of yellow in the woods behind me. My neighbor's cherry tree began to bloom and then that cold you speak of blasted us for a night. Alas, it's beauty truncated. The bradford pears (not my favorite of trees) are righteously snowy at the moment and spewing yellow pollen in their fervor.

I miss the tubers and bulbs: crocus, snowdrops, daffodils and tulips, jonquil, narcissus ...

While you seek spring, I see summer skipping down the street with her sunglasses on and an SPF of 45. I think she's coming to stay ....


Lee said...

I do so love that painting!

Beautiful poem.

bulletholes said...

Red, the daffodils came up a few weeks ago, and last week we saw the first redbuds. Those are my favorite two signs. Means its time to go fishing.
I really liked the next to last paragraph about the walls, and how they hurt us, and the kids dont have them.

red dirt girl said...

With no knowledge aforethought, Lee, I picked a Turner to illustrate this stanza in his poem. Little did I know (until now) that Transtromer has written a poem about Turner! Great minds think alike (I like to think)


red dirt girl said...

I do love those redbud trees, cowboy! I had 3 planted in my garden at the old house. One day again, I shall have my own garden and will stubbornly insist upon daffodils and redbuds. Lucky you!

Agreed - that stanza is gorgeous!


soubriquet said...

890. Late May, by Tomas Transtromer
Apple trees and cherry trees in flower help the town to float
in the soft smudgy May night, white left-vests, thoughts go far away.
Stubborn grass and weeds beat their wings.
The mailbox shines calmly: what is written cannot be taken back.

A mild cooling wind goes through your shirt, feeling for the heart.
Apple trees and cherry trees laugh soundlessly at Solomon.
They blossom in my tunnel. And I need them
not to forget, but to remember.

red dirt girl said...

Mmmm....that's lovely, Soubry. I'm so lucky that I have a secret someone who buys me wonderful books of poetry ....!!!


Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

Whoa, that is awesome--both the painting and the verse!

red dirt girl said...

Careful Jerry!
You might be risking your manly man card ;P