Tommy Olofsson is an author and a literary critic as well as a Professor emeritus of Creative Writing. He made his debut as a poet in 1970 and has since published twelve collections of poetry, most recently Attack mot intigheten (2009). His poetry has been translated into a dozen languages and published in separate volumes in two languages, English and Polish. A selection of his poetry, Elemental Poems, was published 1991 in the U.S., translated by Jean E. Pearson.
Here is the first poem I read by him – it was first published in the book above, but I read it in This Same Sky, poems collected by Naomi Shihab Nye, one of my favourite books of poems from around the world for young people:
The Shadow Inside Me
Night has driven the shadow
into my own body. It’s an inward
robe that stretches its arms
and legs into my limbs, whispers
like silk along my spine,
turns darker and darker until it
finally comes off in me as the colour
of sleep, behind whose eyelids
two black flames are flickering
© Tommy Olofsson, Translated by Jean Pearson (First published in Elemental Poems, White Pine Press.)
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