Posted by: gdevi | October 6, 2011

Nobel Prize for Literature, Tomas Transtromer

The Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer wins the Nobel Prize for literature. Wonderful. It is time a poet won the prize.

And a squabble involving Transtromer and translation.

Comment by Adonis.

“National Insecurity” by Tomas Transtromer, an exquisite little poem:

National Insecurity

The Under Secretary leans forward and draws an X

and her ear-drops dangle like swords of Damocles.

As a mottled butterfly is invisible against the ground

so the demon merges with the opened newspaper.

A helmet worn by no one has taken power.

The mother-turtle flees flying under the water.

Translated by Robin Fulton from New and Collected Poems by Tomas Tranströmer by Robin Fulton, published by Bloodaxe Books (www.bloodaxebooks.com). Copyright © 1997 by Robin Fulton.

Another exquisite poem.

And another one. From March 1979

Weary of all who come with words, words but no language
I make my way to the snow-covered island.
The untamed has no words.
The unwritten pages spread out on every side!
I come upon the tracks of deer in the snow.
Language but no words.

• Translated from the Swedish by Robin Fulton from New Collected Poems, translated by Robin Fulton (Bloodaxe Books, 2011)

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