From the Nobel committee–
The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2011 is awarded to the Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer “because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality”.
Here’s Tranströmer’s “After a Death,” translated by Robert Bly—
Once there was a shock
that left behind a long, shimmering comet tail.
It keeps us inside. It makes the TV pictures snowy.
It settles in cold drops on the telephone wires.
One can still go slowly on skis in the winter sun
through brush where a few leaves hang on.
They resemble pages torn from old telephone directories.
Names swallowed by the cold.
It is still beautiful to hear the heart beat
but often the shadow seems more real than the body.
The samurai looks insignificant
beside his armor of black dragon scales.