The Nobel Prize in Literature 2011
Despondency breaks off its course.
Anguish breaks off its course.
The vulture breaks off its flight.
The eager light streams out,
even the ghosts take a draught.
And our paintings see daylight,
our red beasts of the ice-age studios.
Everything begins to look around.
We walk in the sun in hundreds.
Each man is a half-open door
leading to a room for everyone.
The endless ground under us.
The water is shining among the trees.
The lake is a window into the earth.
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