Analysis of the Poem ‘April and Silence’ by Tomas Transtromer

Tomas Transtromer’s poem reflects the dark mood of the life of the people in this century. People have become so materialistic and they fail to take notice of small blessings in their day to day life. The poet uses simple words to portray a picture of bleakness that shrouds the life of common man. Most of the people in this world face life in a hard way, for death seem to give them the awaited freedom to escape from the clutches of pain and sorrow. Day by day the world is shrinking into a place that is not safe to live. Polluted atmosphere with the air that can constantly bring illness, starving sub-conscious minds that are always kept shut to the world.

The poem “April and Silence” is a simple poem written in simple words. This poem is rich with imagery. Usually spring is the season that is blissful with colors and sweet songs of birds. But modern life has made life so monotonous without any cheerful reflection and thankful to God for the life given. Every individual live in their own island and no one is willing to share their motives. Even the poet lives shut in his shadow like the fiddle locked in its case. The fiddle when played can make soul rendering music, but unfortunately it is not put to use.

The poet has even used imagery from the life of a common man who frequently visits the pawn shop to pawn his silver to get some money to meet his daily needs. The growing threat to the economic well being of the common man is expressed beautifully here. The poet feels his thoughts were not shared with the world as they are also kept locked like the silver in a pawn shop. The hidden restrictions that prevent the bold thoughts that can bring a change to the existing agony of the common man is also reflected in this poem.

April and Silence
translation by Patty Crane

Spring lies forsaken.
The velvet-dark ditch
crawls by my side
without reflections.

The only thing that shines
are yellow flowers.

I am cradled in my shadow
like a fiddle
in its black case.

The only thing I want to say
glimmers out of reach
like the silver
at the pawnbroker’s.

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