Monday, November 30, 2015

From the Island, 1860

BY TOMAS TRANSTRÖMER
TRANSLATED BY PATTY CRANE

I
One day as she rinsed her wash from the jetty,
the bay's cold grave rose up through her arms
and into her life.

Her tears froze into spectacles.
The island raised itself by its grass
and the herring-flag waved in the deep.



II
And the swarm of small pox caught up with him,
settled down onto his face.
He lies and stares at the ceiling.

How it had rowed up through the silence.
The now's eternally flowing stain,
the now's eternally bleeding end-point.

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