It is something special with the autumn.
November med skiftningar av ädelt pälsverk
[November with Nuances of Noble Fur]
skrivet av nobelpristagaren i litteratur 2011 Tomas Tranströmer
[written by Nobel Prize winner in Literature 2011, Tomas Tranströmer]
Just det att himlen är så grå
får marken själv att börja lysa:
ängarna med sitt skygga gröna,
den paltbrödsmörka åkerjorden
Det finns en ladas röda vägg.
Och det finns marker under vatten
som blanka risfält i Asien-
där stannar måsarna och minns
Disiga tomrum mitt i skogen
som klingar sakt mot varann.
Inspiration som lever skymd
och flyr i skogen som Nils Dacke.
Update and translation by LS
Friday, October 28, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
The rustles in the forest floor's leaves when the gray squirrels are rustling for fallen hickory nuts.
The screeches of the bluejays, drumming of wood peckers and twitters of chickadees comes from the bird kingdom.
The soft touching of once-green leaves on the trees, now yellow, orange, brown, rust and red, and about to drop dead.
Wet soft splashing sounds from the little brook, which was dry most of the summer and then a roaring feast during hurricane Irene.
Silent wind bends the grasses, little bluestem, purpletop, and other species, and bears the cut-out black shapes of turkey vultures on the sky screen.
Fall is here, slowly enveloping nature and changing it, inevitable. It is gorgeous.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
I had reason tonight to call the CollegeBoard, the people that administer the SAT, the big dreaded test taken by all American highschool students that want to go to college. These are smart people asking tiny, detailed questions about grammar in their tests.
In the automatic answering system, which guides you to the right place when you call I got this question:
"Are you a parent or a student? Answer yes or no."
OK, I am a parent, but not a student. Do I answer yes or no? I bet someone thought this was a very straightforward question, but I don't think so...
Sunday, October 16, 2011
I think this lamp is very ugly. When you see sticks like this out in nature, they are gorgeous. When Andy Goldsworthy puts together his art of a jumble of sticks along a seashore it is gorgeous (see link and photo here). But this, this reminds me of a crow nest, and feels far to 'over-designed' ("utstuderat" is what I wanted to say, but I don't know that expression in English). The contrast between the wood and the black is too much! I also think it will make weird shadows from the lamps, so not very functional either. OK, that is my opinion, what is yours? I bet you think differently! :)
More crazy nature-inspired design things here.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Lucky Luke always smoked, and when I realized there were Lucky Strike cigarettes, I thought these two things obviously were connected. Not so.
Friday, October 14, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
American Life in Poetry: Column 337 BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006
Behind the Plow
for an iron bolt that fell
from the plow frame
and find instead an arrowhead
with delicate, chipped edges,
still sharp, not much larger
than a woman’s long fingernail.
Pleased, I put the arrowhead
into my overalls pocket,
knowing that the man who shot
the arrow and lost his work
must have looked for it
much longer than I will
look for that bolt.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Another great Swedish poet is getting the Nobel prize: Tomas Tranströmer. The other one was Harry Martinson, one of my absolute favorites. I haven 't read much of Transtromer, but what I have seen so far id fantastic. it is very different from Martinson's poetry, indeed. Congratulations!
Some reactions from American press:
The New Yorker
The New York Times
and a poem, with translation by me:
MINUSGRADER by Tomas Tranströmer (ur SANNINGSBARRIÄREN 1978)
Vi är på en fest som inte älskar oss. Till sist låter festen sin mask falla och visar sig som den verkligen är: en växlingsbangård. Kalla kolosser står på skenor i dimman. En krita har klottrat på vagnsdörrarna.
Det får inte nämnas, men här finns mycket undertryckt våld. Därför är detaljerna så tunga. Och så svårt att se det andra som också finns: en solkatt som flyttar sig på husväggen och glider genom den ovetande skogen av flimrande ansikten, ett bibelord som aldrig skrevs: 'Kom till mig, ty jag är motsägelsefull som du själv.'
I morgon arbetar jag i en annan stad. Jag susar dit genom morgontimman som är en stor svartblå cylinder. Orion hänger ovanför tjälen. Barn står i en tyst klunga och väntar på skolbussen, barn som ingen ber för. Ljuset växer sakta som vårt hår.
While having lunch here in New Jersey a few days ago, the waiter came up after we had received our food and said:
"How did everything come out so far?"
Excuse me, but I am not in the bathroom. I am eating!
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Sunday, October 2, 2011
After a long stretch of semi-interesting to really bad books (see this, for example), I opened up this book and just loved it. I don't want to write a long review, because the book has to be experienced, be loved, and be enjoyed on its own terms, because this is what it deserves. The Help by Kathryn Stockett is about the black maids in southern US in the 1960s, their lives, loves, and despair, and about the white women that hire them, use them, depend on them, and sometimes, respect them. I insisted on reading it before I watched the newly made movie based on it, so now I am ready. If you have read the book, the movie is never better than the book, I think. But this book gets a 9 out of a 10, so I am not worried about the movie being really bad. I heard some had complained that a white woman shouldn't write a book about black women, but come on, that is the stupidiest thing I have heard. If that is so, then women can't write about men, Swedes can't write about Norwegians, and black men can't write about white men. We are foremost people, humans, and not our color, citizenship, or gender. Compassion and understanding is deeper than skin color or culture, at least it ought to be. So, if you want a great read, a good story, and deep thought mixed with fun stories, this is the book. It is just like life is. Just read it. A++
So, here are selected quotes from the chat:
1. Abel: I can only tell you what we know.
2. Abel: The decision is yours.
UPDATE: Our friend BV just sent me this, which explains the stamp in detail (thanks!!!!):
If PP hasn't let you know, the engine pictured on the stamp is a Otto Langen Free Piston Atmospheric Engine, circa 1867. A small flame, like a pilot light on a stove was at the base of the cylinder. I do not know the starting procedure, but as the engine was running, if the wheel started to slow down, a gas, like natural or coal gas, was admitted into the bottom of the cylinder, and a little trap door would open next to the base. The flame would be drawn into the base, igniting the gas, and drive the piston upward. This would push the vertical rack gear attached to the piston and engage the gear on the flywheel shaft, increasing the speed of the wheel. The inertial energy would be stored in the rotating wheel, which drove a load attached to it. As the flywheel slowed down to a certain speed, a governing mechanism would start the process over again to keep the engine running until the fuel supply was removed. You can see one at the Rough & Tumble Museum at Kinzer, PA. It is run for exhibition days.