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The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems

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The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems Cover

ISBN13: 9780811216722
ISBN10: 0811216721
Condition: Standard
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Review-A-Day

"The Great Enigma is truly a fantastic book of poems, lovingly translated and rendered into English by Robin Fulton, and demonstrating a completely unique geography of the imagination that leaves the reader gasping, eagerly turning the page to discover the beauty and wonder of each new foray into language. And beautiful and wonderful they are." Chris Faatz, Powells.com (read the entire Powells.com review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In day's first hours consciousness can grasp the world

as the hand grips a sun-warmed stone.

Translated into fifty languages, the poetry of Tomas Transtromer has had a profound influence around the world, an influence that has steadily grown and has now attained a prominence comparable to that of Pablo Neruda's during his lifetime. But if Neruda is blazing fire, Transtromer is expanding ice. The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems gathers all the poems Tomas Transtromer has published, from his distinctive first collection in 1954, 17 Poems, through his epic poem Baltics ("my most consistent attempt to write music"), and The Sad Gondola, published six years after he suffered a debilitating stroke in 1990 ("I am carried in my shadow / like a violin / in its black case."), to his most recent slim book, The Great Enigma, published in Sweden in 2004. Also included is his prose-memoir Memories Look at Me, containing keys into his intensely spiritual, metaphysical poetry (like the brief passage of insect collecting on Runmaro Island when he was a teenager). Firmly rooted in the natural world, his work falls between dream and dream; it probes "the great unsolved love" with the opening up, through subtle modulations, of "concrete words."

Synopsis:

The collected poems of one of the world's greatest living writers, Tomas Transtromer, available in this comprehensive edition.

Synopsis:



In day's first hours consciousness can grasp the world
as the hand grips a sun-warmed stone.


Translated into fifty languages, the poetry of Tomas Transtromer has had a profound influence around the world, an influence that has steadily grown and has now attained a prominence comparable to that of Pablo Neruda's during his lifetime. But if Neruda is blazing fire, Transtromer is expanding ice. The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems gathers all the poems Tomas Transtromer has published, from his distinctive first collection in 1954, 17 Poems, through his epic poem Baltics ("my most consistent attempt to write music"), and The Sad Gondola, published six years after he suffered a debilitating stroke in 1990 ("I am carried in my shadow / like a violin / in its black case."), to his most recent slim book, The Great Enigma, published in Sweden in 2004. Also included is his prose-memoir Memories Look at Me, containing keys into his intensely spiritual, metaphysical poetry (like the brief passage of insect collecting on Runmaro Island when he was a teenager). Firmly rooted in the natural world, his work falls between dream and dream; it probes "the great unsolved love" with the opening up, through subtle modulations, of "concrete words."

About the Author

Born in Stockholm in 1931, Tomas Transtromer worked as a psychologist for juvenile offenders for many years. He is regularly shortlisted for the Nobel Prize, and has received several public recognitions for his poetry, including the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, the Bonnier Award for Poetry, Germany's Petrarch Prize, the Bellman Prize, the Swedish Academy's Nordic Prize, and the August Prize. In 1997 the city of Västerås established a special Transtromer Prize. Robin Fulton, a Scottish resident of Norway, has been translating Transtromer for over thirty-five years. His many prizes include the Swedish Academy Translation Award.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Grady, January 22, 2007 (view all comments by Grady)
The Scandinavian World of the Sea and the Elements of Nature

Tomas Transtr?mer is a Swedish poet who is one of the strongest and most frequently honored artists of the time. Robin Fulton has translated and curated the bulk of Transtr?mer's published poems in this magnificent book THE GREAT ENIGMA: NEW COLLECTED POEMS and it is a rare treat. In one tome are some of the most moving conversations with and about nature this reader has ever read. Transtr?mer's ability to alter the landscape of the sea and the cliffs, the islands and havens, with an imagination that defies comparison: it is a staggering achievement.

Able to succeed in both the very short and the epic form, he finds those niches in our psyches and makes them into words we could never generate. 'It's spring and the air is very strong. I have graduated from
the university of oblivion and am as empty-handed as the shirt
on the clothesline.' Perhaps it is his training and practice as a psychologist that allows his entry into our heads the way few other poets can achieve. A solid (yet one of many equally powerful) examples would be the following 'Sailor's Yarn':

'There are bare winter days when the sea is kin to mountain
country, crouching in grey plumage, a grief minute blue,
long hours with waves like pale lynxes vainly seeking
hold in the beach gravel.

On such a day wrecks might come from the sea searching
for their owners, settling in the town's din, and drowned
crews blow landward, thinner than pipe smoke.

(The real lynxes are in the north, with sharpened claws
and dreaming eyes. In the north, where day lives in
a mine both day and night.

Where the sole survivor may sit at the borealis stove
and listen to the music of those frozen to death.)'

Few collections of poetry are as satisfying as this and to Robin Fulton's translations must go a lot of the credit. This book is stimulus for the adventurous imagination as well as for the lover of great sea songs. Highly recommended. Grady Harp


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(5 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
Robert Taylor, January 13, 2007 (view all comments by Robert Taylor)
I have read his earlier works (and quoted from them) but not this collection. When I was lecturing in Stockholm they said that Transtromer was really Finnish but I don't recall why.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780811216722
Author:
Transtromer, Tomas
Publisher:
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Translator:
Fulton, Robin
Author:
Fulton, Robin
Subject:
General
Subject:
Continental european
Subject:
Transtromer, Tomas
Subject:
General Poetry
Subject:
Single Author - Continental European
Subject:
Anthologies-Miscellaneous International Poetry
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20061017
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Award Winners
Featured Titles » Nobel Prize Winners
Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Miscellaneous International Poetry
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Religion » Comparative Religion » General

The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems Used Trade Paper
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$12.50 In Stock
Product details 288 pages New Directions Publishing Corporation - English 9780811216722 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "The Great Enigma is truly a fantastic book of poems, lovingly translated and rendered into English by Robin Fulton, and demonstrating a completely unique geography of the imagination that leaves the reader gasping, eagerly turning the page to discover the beauty and wonder of each new foray into language. And beautiful and wonderful they are." (read the entire Powells.com review)
"Synopsis" by , The collected poems of one of the world's greatest living writers, Tomas Transtromer, available in this comprehensive edition.
"Synopsis" by ,

In day's first hours consciousness can grasp the world
as the hand grips a sun-warmed stone.


Translated into fifty languages, the poetry of Tomas Transtromer has had a profound influence around the world, an influence that has steadily grown and has now attained a prominence comparable to that of Pablo Neruda's during his lifetime. But if Neruda is blazing fire, Transtromer is expanding ice. The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems gathers all the poems Tomas Transtromer has published, from his distinctive first collection in 1954, 17 Poems, through his epic poem Baltics ("my most consistent attempt to write music"), and The Sad Gondola, published six years after he suffered a debilitating stroke in 1990 ("I am carried in my shadow / like a violin / in its black case."), to his most recent slim book, The Great Enigma, published in Sweden in 2004. Also included is his prose-memoir Memories Look at Me, containing keys into his intensely spiritual, metaphysical poetry (like the brief passage of insect collecting on Runmaro Island when he was a teenager). Firmly rooted in the natural world, his work falls between dream and dream; it probes "the great unsolved love" with the opening up, through subtle modulations, of "concrete words."
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