All these thoughts refer to most of Tranströmer’s poems, the message of which can be summarized as an expression of the deepest intimate that is, at the same time, the most general, as is suggested in Schubertiana, the cycle in poetic prose from the book The Truth-Barrier. Its sounding comes very close to the famous string quintet in C Major by Franz Schubert (1797-1828), bringing the signals of a whole life down to several simple chords of five strings, which make both the poet and the reader partake in the miracle of creation:



                              De fem stråkarna spelar. Jag går genom ljumma skogar

                                  med marken fjädrande under mig

                              kryper ihop som en ofödd, somnar, rullar viktlös in i

                                  framtiden, känner plötsligt att växterna har tankar.



                              Så mycket vi måste lita på för att kunna leva vår dagliga dag

                                 utan att sjunka genom jorden!

                              Lita på snömassorna som klamrar sig fast vig bergsluttningen

                                 utanför byn.

                              Lita på tysthetslöfterna och samförståndsleendet, lita på att 

                                 olyckstelegrammen inte gäller oss och att det plötsliga

                                 yxhugget inifrån inte kommer.

                              Lita på hjulaxlarna som bär oss på motorleden mitt i den

                                  trehundra gånger förstorade bisvärmen av stål.

                              Men ingenting av det där är egentligen värt vårt förtroende.

                              De fem stråkarna säger att vi kan lita på någonting annat.

                              På vad? På någonting annat, och de följer oss en bit på väg dit.

                              Som när ljuset slocknar i trappan och handen följer – med

                                  förtroende - den blinda ledstången som hittar i mörkret.



 “In a very revealing extract from an interview with Gunnar Harding Tranströmer acknowledges the fact that  he is more concerned with pictures than with musical wordplay but he stresses the profound influence music has had on his life and maintains that his interest in music is somehow transferred to the poetic process.


Gunnar Harding: Let’s talk about music. It’s meant a lot to you…

Tomas Tranströmer: Yes, more than literature.

GH: Does it still?

TT:  Yes, in the sense that I have an innocent relationship to the music, it’s not something I’m involved in professionally, it’s just something I helped myself to…

GH: Did you ever think of going in for music?

TT: In my mid-teens I wanted to be a composer. I remember a fugue my piano teacher thought was neat. But I still get certain musical impulses and at times they come in connection with a poem, so that it’s like a shadow of the poem emerging tonally. This doesn’t get written down but it does exist in a way in my consciousness…

GH: But you seldom compose your poems musically – it is normally the visual factor that is pronounced rather than any kind of word music.

TT: Word music in the sense that you labor over vowels and consonants has never had any special attraction for me. On the other hand when I was younger I had the ambition to try and carry over musical forms into poetry – though that was a very common ambition at the time, in the late forties…” (Sellin 1990: 599-600).