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The Deleted World: Poemsby Tomas Transtromer
Synopses & Reviews
A short selection of haunting, meditative poems from the winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature
Tomas Tranströmer can be clearly recognized not just as Swedens most important poet, but as a writer of international stature whose work speaks to us now with undiminished clarity and resonance. Long celebrated as a master of the arresting, suggestive image, Tranströmer is a poet of the liminal: drawn again and again to thresholds of light and of water, the boundaries between man and nature, wakefulness and dream. A deeply spiritual but secular writer, his skepticism about humanity is continually challenged by the implacable renewing power of the natural world. His poems are epiphanies rooted in experience: spare, luminous meditations that his extraordinary images split open—exposing something sudden, mysterious, and unforgettable.
"For decades U.S. poets and those in the know have been talking about TranstrÃ¶mer, the haunting Swedish poet who's supposedly been on the Nobel shortlist for years. Now that he's actually taken this year's prize, he's no longer a secret. Readers can choose from several selections of poems with different English translators — from New Directions, Ecco, Graywolf, and others — all of which are pretty good, though this little book rushed out by FSG may be the best introduction, if not the best value dollar per page. U.K. poetry star Robertson offers his lucid versions of 15 poems from throughout TranstrÃ¶mer's long career, which began in the '50s. TranstrÃ¶mer favors dark, wintry, portentous landscapes that show more than they tell: the chilling and typical 'Midwinter' reads, in its entirety, 'A blue light/ streams out of my clothes./ Midwinter./ Ringing tambourines of ice./ I close my eyes./ There is a silent world,/ there is a crack/ where the dead/ are smuggled over the border.' Fear and acceptance of death are everywhere in the background — 'In the middle of life, death comes/ to take your measurements. The visit/ is forgotten and life goes on. But the suit/ is being sewn on the sly' — but it's tempered by an observant communication with nature, which offers a kind of company if not solace: 'The child's eyes grow wide in the dark/ and the storm howls for him./ Both love the swinging lamps; both are halfway towards speech.' While readers will certainly be left wanting more pages, the fact that they will is a tribute to Robertson's clear and deep sympathy with TranstrÃ¶mer's world." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Tomas Tranströmer was born in Stockholm in 1931. He is the author of eleven books of poetry and has received numerous international honors. In October 2011 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He lives with his wife in Stockholm.
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