Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Cuckoo

A cuckoo sat and called in the birch just north of the house.
Its voice was so powerful that at first I thought it
was an opera singer performing a cuckoo imitation. Surprised
I saw the bird. Its tailfeathers moved up and down with each
note like a pump-handle at a well. The bird hopped, turned
around and shouted to all four directions. Then it lifted into the air
and flew cursing under its breath over the house and far off into the West...
The summer grows old and everything flows together into a single
melancholy whisper. Cuculus canorus returns to the tropics. Its time in Sweden
is over. It wasn't long! As a matter of fact the cuckoo is a citizen of Zaire...
I am no longer so fond of traveling. But the journey visits me.
Now that I am being pushed further into a comer, now that the annual
rings widen and I need reading-glasses. Always what happens is more
than we can carry! There is nothing to be astonished about. These
thoughts carry me just as loyally as Susi and Chuma carried Livingstone's
mummified body straight through Africa.

Tomas Tranströmer
Translation: Malena Mörling