The Nobel Prize in Literature 2011
I play Haydn after a black day
and feel a simple warmth in my hands.
The keys are willing. Soft hammers strike.
The resonance green, lively and calm.
The music says freedom exists
and someone doesn't pay the emperor tax.
I push down my hands in my Haydnpockets
and imitate a person looking on the world calmly.
I hoist the Haydnflag - it signifies:
"We don't give in. But want peace.'
The music is a glass-house on the slope
where the stones fly, the stones roll.
And the stones roll right through
but each pane stays whole.
From Tomas Tranströmer, New Collected Poems, translated by Robin Fulton (Bloodaxe Books, 1997/2011)
Poem selected by Lars Rydquist, head librarian, Nobel Library of the Swedish Academy