Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Few Transtromer Nuggets

‘...a biblical saying never set down: “Come unto me, for I am as full of contradictions as you.”’ (Tomas Transtromer, ‘Below Freezing’)

‘Many workshop poets comb their personal memory and write poems about their childhood, filling the poems with a clutter of detail. This clutter sometimes ensures that the piece will remain “a piece of writing” and will not become “a work of art”’ (Robert Bly – ‘Tomas Transtromer and “The Memory”)

'So much we have to trust, simply to live through our daily day without sinking through the earth!
Trust the piled snow clinging to the mountain slope above the village.
Trust the promises of silence and the smile of understanding, trust that the accident telegram isn’t for us and that the sudden axe-blow from within won’t come.
Trust the axles that carry us on the highway in the middle of the three hundred times life-size bee swarm of steel.
But none of this is really worth our confidence.
The five strings say we can trust something else. And they keep us company part of the way.
As when the time-switch clicks off in the stairwell and the fingers – trustingly – follow the blind handrail that finds its way in the darkness.'
(Tomas Transtromer, tr. Robin Fulton, ‘from ‘Schubertiana’, part 4)

‘Art helps us, [Transtromer] says, as a banister helps the climber on a dark stairwell.’ (Robert Bly)

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