The Light and The Dark

“What looks at first like a confrontation turns out to be a connection.”

I like how Nobel Prize-winning poet Tomas Tranströmer talked about his poetry:                 

My poems are meeting places. Their intent is to make sudden connections between aspects of reality that conventional languages ordinarily keep apart. Large and small details of the landscape meet, divided cultures and people flow together in a work of art. Nature meets industry, etc. What looks at first like a confrontation turns out to be a connection. (Quoted by poet and Tranströmer translator Malena Mörling, here: https://uncw.edu/writers/faculty/morling.html)

These frictions and affinities generate energy.

With this in mind, enjoy two poems by Tranströmer: 

“After a Death”: Once there was a shock / that left behind a long, shimmering comet tail. …    

“Outskirts”: Men in overalls the same color of the earth rise from a ditch.

(Photo by Marcin Ryczek)

Poetry Challenge

All I’s on Me

Are artists expected to paint only self-portraits?  Authors to write just memoir?  Of course not.  It is interesting to ask why we might place such limitations on poets, then.  If confessional has come to be a default mode for contemporary American poetry, what might we be missing out on? Poetry challenge:  Create a poem without the I-word.