Created and produced byAmrendra Pandey in Bengaluru, India
Amrendra Pandey is a research scholar and PhD in Molecular Physics at Raman Research Institute, India.
At times my life suddenly opens its eyes in the dark. A feeling of masses of people pushing blindly through the streets, excitedly, toward some miracle, while I remain here and no one sees me. It is like the child who falls asleep in terror listening to the heavy thumps of his heart. For a long, long time till morning puts his light in the locks and the doors of darkness open.
“Kyrie” from The Half-Finished Heaven by Tomas Tranströmer, translated by Robert Bly, Graywolf Press; 2001. Copyright © 2001 by Robert Bly.
No earth tremor, but a skyquake. Turner could have painted it, secured by ropes. A single mitten whirled past right now, several miles from its hand. Facing the storm I am heading for that house on the other side of the field. I flutter in the hurricane. I am being x-rayed, my skeleton hands in its application for discharge. Panic grows while I tack about, I am wrecked, I am wrecked and drown on dry land! How heavy it is, all that I suddenly have to carry, how heavy it is for the butterfly to tow a barge! There at last. A final bout of wrestling with the door. And now inside. Behind the huge window-pane. What a strange and magnificent invention glass is—to be close without being stricken. . . Outside a horde of transparent splinters of gigantic shapes rush across the lava plain. But I flutter no more. I sit behind the glass, still, my own portrait.
“Icelandic Hurricane” by Tomas Tranströmer from The Blue House, translated from the Swedish by Göran Malmqvist, published by Thunder City Press. Copyright © 1987 by Göran Malmqvist. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Prison: Nine Haiku from Hällby Youth Prison (1959)
Translated from the Swedish by Malena Mörling. Postscript by Jonas Ellerström.
32 pages / hand-sewn pamphlet / $10.00
Tomas Tranströmer worked for several years as a psychologist for juvenile delinquents. In 1959 he visited his colleague Åke Nordin, who was also a poet, at the Hällby youth prison in the southern part of Sweden. Later that year he sent Nordin a sequence of nine haiku, giving his impressions of the prison milieu. These poems were rediscovered in 2001 and are presented here in a bilingual edition.
After a black day, I play Haydn,
and feel a little warmth in my hands.
The keys are ready. Kind hammers fall.
The sound is spirited, green, and full of silence.
The sound says that freedom exists
and someone pays no tax to Caesar.
I shove my hands in my haydnpockets
and act like a man who is calm about it all.
I raise my haydnflag. The signal is:
“We do not surrender. But want peace.”
The music is a house of glass standing on a slope;
rocks are flying, rocks are rolling.
The rocks roll straight through the house
but every pane of glass is still whole.