* wintering with tomas tranströmer

We’ve had some steady days of clouds making their way over us. The early mornings have been looking something like this:

* greyer days *
* greyer days *

In my work, I’ve been working with repetition in some recent poems of mine, trying to incorporate repeating words and images conceptually. The poem below by Tomas Tranströmer is a good model for what I mean. Each time a word or image is repeated, it is reembodied and adds to the overall effect. It’s almost as if the first “blow” in the beginning of the poem sets the details of the poem in motion.

A Winter Night – Tomas Tranströmer

The storm put its mouth to the house
and blows to get a tone.
I toss and turn, my closed eyes
reading the storm’s text.

The child’s eyes grow wide in the dark
and the storm howls for him.
Both love the swinging lamps;
both are halfway towards speech.

The storm has the hands and wings of a child.
Far away, travellers run for cover.
The house feels its own constellation of nails
holding the walls together.

The night is calm in our rooms,
where the echoes of all footsteps rest
like sunken leaves in a pond,
but the night outside is wild.

A darker storm stands over the world.
It puts its mouth to our soul
and blows to get a tone. We are afraid
the storm will blow us empty.

***

Happy emptying!

Jose

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “* wintering with tomas tranströmer

  1. It has the interesting effect on me that when I read the second occurrence of “blows to get a tone” — this time to “our soul” rather than “the house” — (and “soul” rather than “souls”), I feel compelled at the end to go back and re-read from the beginning with this second layer of understanding — and then again, and again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s