“Kyrie” by Tomas Tranströmer
Poetry 180: A Poem a Day for American High Schools, Hosted by Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2001-2003
A boy told me if he roller-skated fast enough his loneliness couldn’t catch up to him, the best reason I ever heard for trying to be a champion. What I wonder tonight pedaling hard down King William Street is if it translates to bicycles. A victory! To leave your loneliness panting behind you on some street corner while you float free into a cloud of sudden azaleas, pink petals that have never felt loneliness, no matter how slowly they fell.
from The Half-Finished Heaven, Swedish translation by Robert Bly, 2001
Graywolf Press, St. Paul, Minnesota
Copyright 2001 by Tomas Tranströmer.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press from The Half-Finished Heaven, 2001. Copyright 2001 by Tomas Tranströmer. For further permissions information, contact Graywolf Press, 2402 University Ave. Ste. 203, St Paul, MN 55114.
About the Poet
Tomas Tranströmer (1931-2015) is the recipient of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature and the author of 15 poetry collections, including The Deleted World (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011).
Learn more about Tomas Tranströmerat The Poetry Foundation.