Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Poem by the Swedish writer
Tomas Tranströmer


I’m playing Haydn after a black day
and feel a simple warmth in my hands.

The keys are willing. Gentle hammers strike.
The sound is green, lively and quiet.

The sound says that freedom exists
and that someone does not render unto Caesar.

I thrust my hands deep into my Haydn pockets
and imitate someone who gazes calmly at the world.

I hoist the Haydn flag – which means:
‘We won’t surrender. But want peace.’

The music is a glasshouse on the slope
where the stones fly, where the stones roll.

And the stones roll straight through
but each pane remains unbroken.

There are probably a number of English translations of this poem in existence. I have not seen any of them - I never consult other translations when making my own. Translations of the same poem are like different recordings of the same piece of music - find the one(s) you like best.

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