So Far Beyond This ...
from the Swedish of Hjalmar Gullberg
It came so sudden, so miraculous.
Is it a tone I hear, a glint I see,
that only passes by me in its rush
to vanish, dissipate, no longer be?
A nothing has caressed with friendly hand
my hand, which just now was so white with frost.
Was it a greeting from some unknown land,
a spirit-letter in the latest post
from one who knew me but kept his peace,
kept hidden from me, someone so sublime,
so far beyond this thing that they call space,
so far beyond this thing that they call time.
1997; originally printed in The Tennessee Quarterly.
Reprinted by permission of the author.