From March ‘79
Being tired of people who come with words, but no speech,
I made my way to the snow-covered island.
The wild does not have words.
The pages free of handwriting stretched out on all sides!
I came upon the tracks of reindeer in the snow.
Speech but no words.
— Tomas Tranströmer, in The Half-Finished Heaven, translated by Robert Bly
Spring lies abandoned.
A ditch the color of dark violet
moves alongside me
giving no images back.
The only thing that shines
are some yellow flowers.
I am carried inside
my own shadow like a violin
in its black case.
At times my life suddenly opens its eyes in the dark.
A feeling of masses of people pushing blindly
through the streets, excitedly, toward some miracle,
while I remain here and no one sees me.
It is like the child who falls asleep in terror
listening to the heavy thumps of his heart.
For a long, long time till morning puts his light in the locks
and the doors of darkness open.
— Tomas Tranströmer, translated by Robert Bly