the only thing that shines...

Tomas Tranströmer

April and Silence

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.

The only thing I want to say
hovers just out of reach
like the family silver
at the pawnbroker’s.

           (Trans. Robert Bly)


My kind of spring poem. Edged with a darkness that I can’t help but see – “Spring lies abandoned”. Then the action fans out: moves, giving, shines, carried. Tranströmer understands solitude: “my own shadow like a violin / in its black case” – yes – but, equally, he understands the potential for music in himself.

The words to say hover “just out of reach” – like the drivers on a steam engine, off-centered, make perfect motion possible.


rae said...

ooo, Sam - I really like this one. Thanks for sharing it.

DeadMule said...

Hi Sam, I featured you on my blog today. http://helenl.wordpress.com/2007/04/17/sam-rasnake-in-the-dead-mule/

Sam of the ten thousand things said...

Thanks for read Rachel.

Helen, thanks for the feature, and for accepting my work at Dead Mule. I'm pleased to be a part of that issue. An exceptional gathering of works. Happy to be included with such a strong voice as Kathryn Byer. Especially enjoyed Jenni Russell's poetry and Darrell Grayson's, and look forward to the Charles Davis' fiction selection.

sexy said...