Typically when spending time with a Nobel Laureate's work, I'll make a point of reading the transcripts from the recipient's Nobel Lecture and Banquet Speech. When doing so with Tomas Tranströmer, I was thrown off guard finding his Nobel Lecture not consisting of a lecture at all, but various music ensembles which coincided with recitations of his poetry. And then with the Banquet Speech, a very brief acceptance and expression of gratitude from his wife.

At first, I thought of it as a bold gesture towards letting the poetry speak for itself. With later consideration, I remembered that Tranströmer suffered a stroke in the 1990's which left him incapable of speech. The logic of this explanation came to me while at work. But when at home and later in the evening, I refused to limit the choice to such matter-of-fact reasoning. Perhaps if he not had the stroke, the ceremony would have proceeded the same. His wife concluded with the following poem:

Tired of all who come with words, words but no language
l went to the snow-covered island.
The wild does not have words.
The unwritten pages spread out on all sides!
I come upon the tracks of roe deer in the snow.
Language but no words. 

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