Sunday, April 17, 2011

"Friends, You Drank Some Darkness"


Dear friends
Who are in need,
Do not be so

Easily carried away
By the promising
Lyre of darkness—

Though the sun
May not always come out
When you need it,

When it does,
It always does
What is needed.

NB: Tomas Tranströmer’s poem “Elegy”—from which Bly got the title for his translations of Swedish poetry (Martinson, Ekelöf, and Tranströmer)—is as follows:


I open the first door.
It is a large sunlit room.
A heavy car passes outside
and makes the china quiver.

I open door number two.
Friends! You drank some darkness
and became visible.

Door number three. A narrow hotel room.
View on an alley.
One lamppost shines on the asphalt.
Experience, its beautiful slag.


  1. "Revelation" is terrific, Vassilis. "[T]he promising / Lyre [read also liar] of darkness," indeed! I admire many dark-drinking poets (Celan, Plath, Eliot, Vallejo, Trakl), but the poets I love are drunk on light: Neruda from the Odes onward, Blake, Szymborska, Paz, Ammons, Adonis. Not that I plan to stop reading the nightwalkers! It's just good to know that dawn is not only possible but inevitable.

  2. Joe,

    Your list of admirable poets--what a list! I shall drink slugs of retsina to toast all of them--the dark and the light. Thanks, my "tipsy" friend.


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