scandinavian poetry, part two

Romanesque Arches
by Tomas Tranströmer

Inside the huge romanesque church the tourists jostled in the half darkness.
Vault gaped behind vault, no complete view.
A few candle-flames flickered.
An angel with no face embraced me
and whispered through my whole body:
'Don't be ashamed of being human, be proud!
Inside you vault opens behind vault endlessly.
You will never be complete, that's how it's meant to be.'
Blind with tears.
I was pushed out on the sun-seething piazza
together with Mr and Mrs Jones, Mr Tanaka and Signora Sabatini
and inside them all vault opened behind vault endlessly.



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