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The blue sky’s engine-drone is deafening

Sunday, 29 March, 2015

The Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer, who won the Nobel prize for literature in 2011, died in Stockholm on Thursday at the age of 83. He had lost the power of speech after a stroke in 1990, but continued to write poetry, and to play the piano with his left hand. In light of this week’s aviation tragedy, Tranströmer’s Under Pressure has a certain topical relevance: “Alps tragedy exposes relentless pressures faced by commercial pilots“, declares The Observer today.

Under Pressure

The blue sky’s engine-drone is deafening.
We’re living here on a shuddering work-site
where the ocean depths can suddenly open up
shells and telephones hiss
You can see beauty only from the side, hastily
The dense grain on the field, many colours in a yellow stream.
The restless shadows in my head are drawn there.
They want to creep into the grain and turn to gold.
Darkness falls. At midnight I go to bed.
The smaller boat puts out from the larger boat.
You are alone on the water.
Society’s dark hull drifts further and further away.

Tomas Tranströmer (1931 – 2015)

Blue sky


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