Tranströmer, Tomas - Solitude
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Solitude [translated by Robert Bly]
Right here I was nearly kllled one night in February.
My car slewed on the ice, sideways,
into the other lane. The oncoming cars-
their headlights-came nearer.
My name, my daughters, my job
slipped free and fell behind silently,
farther and farther back. I was anonymous,
like a schoolboy in a lot surrounded by enemies.
The approaching traffic had powerful lights.
They shone on me while I turned and turned
the wheel in a transparent fear that moved like eggwhite.
The seconds lengthened out-making more room-
they grew long as hospital buildings.
It felt as if you could just take it easy
and loaf a bit
before the smash came.
Then firm land appeared: a helping sandgrain
or a marvelous gust of wind. The car took hold
and fishtailed back across the road.
A signpost shot up, snapped off-a ringing sound-
tossed into the dark.
Came all quiet. I sat there in my seatbelt
and watched someone tramp through the blowing snow
to see what had become of me.