Imago lacus

The picture above was taken by a dear friend, the American poet Debra Kang Dean (please do not use it without permission). I met Debra three years before, when I went to Walden to work with his late husband Brad, a great Thoreau scholar. Once we spent hours tracking this quotation: "Some men go fishing all their lives without ever realizing it's not fish they are after." We concluded that Thoreau never wrote it, but si non è vero...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Artful and hopeful and Nobel

Five Stanzas to Thoreau

Yet one more abandoned the heavy city's
ring of greedy stones. And the water, salt and
crystal, closes over the heads of all who
      truly seek refuge.

* * *

Silence slowly spiraling up has risen
here from earth's recesses to put down roots and grow and
with its burgeoning crown to shade his
      sun-heated doorstep.

* * *

Kicks a mushroom thoughtlessly. Thunderclouds are
piling on the skyline. Like copper trumpets
crooked roots of trees are resounding, foliage
      scatters in terror.

* * *

Autumn's headlong flight is his weightless mantle,
flapping till again from the frost and ashes
peaceful days have come in their flocks and bathe their 
      claws in the wellspring.

* * *

Disbelief will meet him who saw a geyser
and escaped from wells filled with stones, like Thoreau
disappearing deep in his inner greenness
      artful and hopeful.

Tomas Tranströmer
The Great Enigma (Bloodaxe, 1987). Translation by Robin Fulton


  1. Je je, gracias Ana, pero traducir sobre traducciones me parece peligroso...

    Aquí una versión en castellano: