After Someone’s Death by Tomas Tranströmer

Once there was a shock
which left behind a long pale glimmering comet’s tail.
It contains us. It makes TV pictures blurred.
It deposits itself as cold drops on the aerials.

You can still shuffle along on skis in the winter sun
among groves where last year’s leaves still hang.
They are like pages torn from old telephone directories–
the subscribers’ names are eaten up by the cold.

It is still beautiful to feel your  heart throbbing.
But often the shadow feels more real than the body.
The samurai looks insignificant
beside his armour of black dragon scales.

translated by Robin Fulton

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