Friday, 31 July 2015

Breathing Space July #TomasTranstromer

This poem by Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer - who died earlier this year - reminds p&g of perhaps our favourite Elizabeth Bishop poem.

Breathing Space July is a deceptively simple poem that plays with human boundaries in a delightful way. The subject is outside time, gravity and beyond scale - as large as huge trees and yet smaller than insects. Enjoy!

The full poem is as follows.

Breathing Space July

The man who lies on his back under huge trees
is also up in them. He branches out into thousands of tiny branches.
He sways back and forth,
he sits in a catapult chair that hurtles forward in slow motion.

The man who stands down at the dock screws up his eyes against the water.
Docks get older faster than men.
They have silver-gray posts and boulders in their gut.
The dazzling light drives straight in.

The man who spends the whole day in an open boat
moving over the luminous bays
will fall asleep at last inside the shade of his blue lamp
as the islands crawl like huge moths over the globe.

Thomas Transtromer translated by Robert Bly

You can read more on Tomas Transtromer here

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