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.