Monday, July 14, 2014

university of oblivion

Summer Plain

by Tomas Tranströmer

We have seen so much.
Reality has used us up so much,
but here is summer at last:

a large airfield - the flight-controller is bringing down
load after load of frozen
people from space.

The grass and the flowers - here we land,
The grass has a green manager.
I report myself.

- more about Tomas Transtromer here 


by Tomas Tranströmer

I inherited a dark forest where I seldom walk. But a day is coming when the living and the dead trade places. Then the forest will be set in motion. We are not without hope. The most serious crimes will remain unsolved despite the efforts of many policemen. In the same way there is somewhere in our lives a great unsolved love. I inherited a dark forest, but today I am walking in the other forest, the light one. And the living things that sing, wiggle, wave and crawl! It's spring and the air is very strong. I have an examination at the University of Oblivion and am as emptyhanded as the shirt on the clothesline.

The morning air is cool - all the windows in the house are open right now letting the breeze in. Suddenly we have landed right in the middle of summer. That's how long it takes here.

Yesterday I tried to have a mainly internet free day - I turned the computer right off. Of course, I had to go to work in the afternoon, and the computer is somewhat inevitable. I've had issues with my dry eyes lately, and then, really, it's just plain liberating to step away from the computer.

Last week we went downtown to a stationery store so I could buy some Claire Fontaine notebooks - they work well with fountain pens. My resolution is to spend more time with paper and less time with screens.

Also, trying to walk in the light forest, rather than the dark one.

Always hanging out at the university of oblivion.

And one more poem for the morning. If I were a poetry DJ, I'd say, this one goes out to the sad ones, the shy ones, all you beautiful ones:

Remember a Song You Know

by Hafiz

If you are sad, remember a beautiful song
you know. It is really something living.

It can bring you to the place where it was
created out of light, and you can feel that
for a moment.

If you do not wish to sing, if you are feeling
shy or just too low, picture me doing so,

sitting at a table with you, with maybe a
drink in our hands...toasting

something you would like to clink a cup
with me about, my dear.

- transl. Daniel Ladinsky, from A Year with Hafiz: Daily Contemplations


  1. I cannot begin to say how much your blog does for me. Thank you for creating this island of literary & visual imagery in the morass that is the internet!

  2. 'clink'…here's to-- anything at all….just to sitting on the other side of a table with you….sigh

  3. I have never read (or heard of) Tomas Transtromer before, thank you for the introduction. I also LOVE Claire Fontaine notebooks, I think they are the best and I can see why you would like them with a fountain pen. Happy writing!

  4. This is lovely Shawna. Here's to oblivion and those unsolved loves. (Two years ago I took Transtromer to Kokura, Japan with me and in the afternoons sat with him on the banks of the Purple River.)

  5. I've had his selected for quite a while, and just never clicked with it until now. Thanks everyone - your comments mean a lot. - S.


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