streak | closer | the head | growing
remember | difficult to move | concentrated | dangerous
moods flare | death itself thins out
memory | now big | beautiful name | in a bright room
Source: Tomas Tranströmer, Memories Look at Me
Method: This poem was excavated from Tomas Tranströmer’s prose memoir, Memories Look at Me, translated by Robin Fulton. I wanted to strip Tranströmer’s already condensed, luminous language down until the poem seemed like a coded message about language itself.
Raina Joines is the recipient of fellowships from Blue Mountain Center, the Hambidge Center, and the Lillian E. Smith Center. She received a First Honorable Mention from the Dana Awards in 2015, and her work may be found in Crab Orchard Review, Measure, St. Katharine Review, and Grist: A Journal of the Literary Arts.