Sunday, 30 October 2011

Second Tranströmer

Another Tranströmer poem, 'The Tree and the Sky':
There’s a tree walking around in the rain,
it rushes past us in the pouring grey.
It has an errand. It gathers life
out of the rain like a blackbird in an orchard.
When the rain stops so does the tree.
There it is, quiet on clear nights
waiting as we do for the moment
when the snowflakes blossom in space.
I'm almost suspicious of how 'pretty' this poem is: how 'General Tourist Board of Scandinavia' it feels. Still, kudos to T.T. for writing a poem about a tree walking about without immediately putting the reader in mind of an Ent -- and there's enough of a puzzle in that opening image to draw the mind in. Is the tree in motion because (with the rain) the winds are making it sway? Or because the narrator is (say) driving past the tree, and imputing his own motion to the thing? Or is the poem suggesting the motion of the rain is transferred to the forest? I like the way the blackness of the blackbird leaks through into the night sky; and though describing a snowflake as a blossom isn't the most original poetic image it is effective.

1 comment:

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