Five Poems by Tomas Tranströmer

Back

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.

From Tomas Tranströmer, New Collected Poems, translated by Robin Fulton (Bloodaxe Books, 1997/2011)
http://www.bloodaxebooks.com/

Poem selected by the Nobel Library of the Swedish Academy.

To cite this section
MLA style: Five Poems by Tomas Tranströmer. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Media AB 2019. Sat. 24 Aug 2019. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/literature/2011/transtromer/25710-five-poems-by-tomas-transtromer-2011-3/>

Back to top Back To Top Takes users back to the top of the page

Explore prizes and laureates

Look for popular awards and laureates in different fields, and discover the history of the Nobel Prize.