Thursday, October 6, 2011

Inflorescence - Swedish Poet Tomas Transtromer wins the Nobel Prize for Literature

In-flo-res-cence - from the Latin inflorescere - to begin to blossom. 1. the producing of blossoms; flowering; 2. the arrangement of flowers on a stem or axis; 3. a flower cluster on a common axis; 4. flowers collectively; 5. a solitary flower, regarded as a reduced cluster.

Today's Nobel Prize winner in literature, Swedish Poet Tomas Transtromer, has long been a favorite of mine.

Dream Seminar
Four thousand million on earth.
They all sleep, they all dream.
Faces throng, and bodies, in each dream -
the dreamt-of people are more numerous
than us. But take no space...
You doze off at the theatre perhaps,
in mid-play your eyelids sink.
A fleeting double-exposure: the stage
before you out-manoeuvred by a dream.
Then no more stage, it's you.
The theatre in the honest depths!
The mystery of the overworked director!
Perpetual memorising of new plays...
A bedroom. Night.
The darkened sky is flowing through the room.
The book that someone fell asleep from lies still open
sprawling wounded at the edge of the bed.
The sleeper's eyes are moving,
they're following the text without letters
in another book -
illuminated, old-fashioned, swift.
A dizzying commedia inscribed
within the eyelids' monastery walls.
A unique copy. Here, this very moment.
In the morning, wiped out.
The mystery of the great waste!
Annihilation. As when suspicious men
in uniforms stop the tourist -
open his camera, unwind the film
and let the daylight kill the pictures:
thus dreams are blackened by the light of day.
Annihilated or just invisible?
There is a kind of out-of-sight dreaming
that never stops. Light for other eyes.
A zone where creeping thoughts learn to walk.
Faces and forms regrouped.
We're moving on a street, among people
in blazing sun.
But just as many - maybe more -
we don't see
are also there in dark buildings
high on both sides.
Sometimes one of them comes to the window
and glances down on us.

Fire Jottings
Throughout the dismal months my life sparkled alive only when I made love with you.
As the firefly ignites and fades out, ignites and fades out, - in glimpses we can trace its flight
in the dark among the olive trees.

Throughout the dismal months the soul lay shrunken, lifeless,
but the body went straight to you.
The night sky bellowed.
Stealthily we milked the cosmos and survived.

Romanesque Arches
Inside the huge romanesque church the tourists jostled in the half darkness.
Vault gaped behind vault, no complete view.
A few candle-flames flickered.
An angel with no face embraced me
and whispered through my whole body:
'Don't be ashamed of being human, be proud!
Inside you vault opens behind vault endlessly.
You will never be complete, that's how it's mean to be.'
Blind with tears.
I was pushed out on the sun-seething piazza
together with Mr and Mrs Jones, Mr Tanaka and Signora Sabatini
and inside them all vault opened behind vault endlessly.

A Page of the Night-Book
I stepped ashore one May night
in the cool moonshine
where grass and flowers were grey
but the scent green.

I glided up the slope
in the colour-blind night
while white stones
signalled to the moon.

A period of time
a few minutes long
fifty-eight years wide.

And behind me
beyond the lead-shimmering waters
was the other shore
and those who ruled.

People with a future
instead of a face.

More of Tomas Transtromer's poems are linked via my side bar under the heading Inflorescence and then his name.

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