The Half-Finished Heaven

By Tomas Tranströmer

Cowardice breaks off on its path.
Anguish breaks off on its path.
The vulture breaks off in its flight.

The eager light runs into the open,
Even the ghosts take a drink.

And our paintings see the air,
red beasts of the ice-age studios.

Everything starts to look around.
We go out in the sun by hundreds.

Every person is a half-open door
leading to a room for everyone.

The endless field under us.

Water glitters between the trees.

The lake is a window into the earth.

Tomas Tranströmer, “The Half-Finished Heaven,” translated by Robert Bly, from The Half-Finished Heaven: The Best Poems of Tomas Tranströmer. Copyright © 2001 by Tomas Tranströmer. Translation copyright © 2001 by Robert Bly. Reprinted with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Graywolf Press.