Everything you need to understand or teach Answers to Letters by Tomas Tranströmer.
Beginning directly on the left margin, without the indentations of the other five stanzas, stanza one is set apart from the rest of the poem. Tranströmer may be implying that the first lines are an introductory statement, or the subsequent indentations may be meant to underscore the fact that the letter the speaker finds at the bottom of his desk drawer is "breathing." In any case, the two sentences of the first stanza reveal a speaker, or a character that narrates the poem, who has "come across" a letter that arrived twenty-six years previously. The phrase "come across" does not imply any urgency or action; it is the letter itself that "arrives," "in panic" and still breathing after twenty-six years, like a ghost to haunt the speaker. The speaker's passivity, and his inability to respond to his past or to major questions that are breathing and panicking, will be an... View more of the Answers to Letters Summary