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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.

—Tomas Tranströmer

from The Half-Finished Heaven, Swedish translation by Robert Bly, 2001
Graywolf Press, St. Paul, Minnesota

Copyright 2001 by Tomas Tranströmer.
All rights reserved.

Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press from The Half-Finished Heaven, 2001. Copyright 2001 by Tomas Tranströmer. For further permissions information, contact Graywolf Press, 2402 University Ave. Ste. 203, St Paul, MN 55114.

Poetry 180

About the Poet

Tomas Tranströmer (1931-2015) is the recipient of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature and the author of 15 poetry collections, including The Deleted World (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011).

Learn more about Tomas Tranströmerat The Poetry Foundation.