“Morning Bird Songs” by Tomas Tranströmer

For the first day of the second half of National Poetry Month (and now that ideal spring mornings are becoming the norm) here’s a Robert Bly translation of a poem by Tomas Tranströmer.

Morning Bird Songs

I wake up my car;
pollen covers the windshield.
I put my dark glasses on.
The bird songs all turn dark.
Meanwhile, someone is buying a paper
at the railroad station
not far from a big freight car
reddened all over with rust.
It shimmers in the sun.
The whole universe is full.
A cool corridor cuts through the spring warmth;
a man comes hurrying past
describing how someone right up in the main office
has been telling lies about him.
Through a backdoor in the landscape
the magpie arrives,
black and white, bird of the death-goddess.
A blackbird flies back and forth
until the whole scene becomes a charcoal drawing,
except for the white clothes on the line:
A Palestrina choir.
The whole universe is full!
Fantastic to feel how my poem is growing
While I myself am shrinking.
It’s getting bigger, it’s taking my place,
it’s pressing against me.
It has shoved me out of the nest.
The poem is finished.

About Richard Long

I'm a Professor of English at Saint Louis Community College--Meramec, where I teach composition, creative writing, environmental literature, and poetry. I also edit 2River, home of the 2River View, the 2River Chapbook Series, and Muddy Bank. You can also follow me on my bicycle as I tour the country, self supported, at richardtreks.blogspot.com.
This entry was posted in NPM. Bookmark the permalink.

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