Friday, October 7, 2011

Congratulations, Tomas Transtromer!

(This was supposed to autopost yesterday and didn't. Sorry!)

Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer has won the Nobel prize. I'll admit I didn't know much about him until yesterday, when I saw that his odds of winning were pretty high and looked him up. I don't tend to follow contemporary poetry very closely - I'll usually take Donne or Tennyson over modern poets - but my friend Michael Magras suggests starting with the collection The Great Enigma or with this site, where you can read several of Transtromer's poems online. Here's the beginning of "Allegro:"
After a black day, I play Haydn,
and feel a little warmth in my hands.
The keys are ready. Kind hammers fall.
The sound is spirited, green, and full of silence.
The sound says that freedom exists
and someone pays no tax to Caesar.
I shove my hands in my haydnpockets
and act like a man who is calm about it all.

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