Sunday, 11 December 2011

The Finished Ice Sculpture


Ice sculpture by Ragnhild Brodow Sandelius (Borås 2011)

Inscription: “stjärnbilderna stampa i sina spiltor”
= “t
he star constellations stamping in their stalls”
Words from the poem Storm* by Tomas Tranströmer,
Swedish poet awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature 2011

I my previous post Straight Out of the Ice  you can see the artist
working on the ice sculpture. Luckily I was able to go back today to take a photo of the finished work as well. (How long it will remain standing depends on the weather, and the weather just now is rather unreliable!)

This ice sculpture is a tribute to Sweden’s probably most popular living poet, Tomas Tranströmer, who received the Nobel prize in literature yesterday.

* I found a translation of the poem at BookBrowse:


The man on a walk suddenly meets the old
giant oak like an elk turned to stone with
its enormous antlers against the dark green castle wall
of the fall ocean.

Storm from the north. It's nearly time for the
rowanberries to ripen. Awake in the night he
hears the constellations far above the oak
stamping in their stalls.

~ Tomas Tranströmer; translation Robert Bly ~


  1. This is wonderful. I like the way they change as they melt and refreeze. Not sure if it will work with this but time will tell.

  2. A beautiful thing to see and thanks for the explanation about the words..

  3. amazing to me how they can carve with ice. beautiful. hope it stays for a while and does not melt.

  4. I like the imagery in this poem, likening the old tree to elk antlers. I like the ice sculpture, but it was MUCH better with the artist inside!! Ha ha!

  5. What a shame such a lovely work of art is subject to the whims of the weather. I hope it stands long enough to be admired by many.

  6. The pictures of the artist inside the ice were a bit startling, looked like she was trying to chip her way out. Love the finished piece, simple and elegant.

  7. I'm glad I've seen the finished product. I'm afraid the meaning of the poetry alludes me though.

  8. GB, you should try listening on a starry night. They might be stamping in the southern hemispere as well. Might be a softer sound though with the trees all green down below.

    I don't think the poem is limited to one meaning (that is so much up to the reader!) but to me it speaks of being rooted to the earth and history and being on a 'pilgrimage' with a spiritual longing at the same time. It may also hint to the star and the stable in the Christmas gospel(s).

  9. You have many advantages over me Monica. I have absolutely no imagination which lets me see those interpretations.

  10. GB, it may be part imagination but I think 'schooling' also comes into it. After all a big part of my study of languages was study of literature; and add to that theology, which is also a lot about interpretation.


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