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Tranströmer, Tomas - The Forgotten Commander

Identifier

025718

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

A description of the experience

The Forgotten Commander

We have lots of shadows. I was walking home
one September night when Y
after forty years climbed from his grave
and joined me.

At first he was entirely hollow, only a name,
but his thoughts could swim
faster than time could run
and caught up with me.

I set his eyes to my eyes
and saw the ocean in wartime.
The last ship he captained
rose beneath us.

The Atlantic convoy moved behind and ahead-
those destined to survive
and those who had received the Mark
(no one could see it).

Meanwhile sleepless nights relieved
each other but no one relieved him.
Life-jacket fat under his slicker.
He didn't make it home.

It was internal weeping that drained his blood
in a Cardiff hospital.
Able at last to lie down,
he turned into the horizon.

Farewell, eleven-knot ships! Good-bye 1940!
The history of the world ended here.
The bombers remained in air.
The heather went on blossoming.

A photo early in the century shows a beach.
We see six boys dressed up.
They have sailboats in their arms.
What serious faces!

Boats for some become life and death.
Even to write about the dead
is also a play that turns heavy
from the weight of what is to come.

The source of the experience

Tranströmer, Tomas

Concepts, symbols and science items

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Commonsteps

References