bleak, yet powerful work wins Nobel Prize for literature

Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer

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Swedish Poet Wins Nobel Prize->Tomas Tranströmer’s bleak, YET powerful work explores themes of nature, isolation, identity~sb #SCRIBAL @nytimes

excellent excerpts:

A sudden chill, from a great distance, meets me.
The moment blackens
and remains like an axe-cut in a tree-trunk.
~ Tranströmer’s “Winter’s Gaze”


Weary of all who come with words, words but no language
I make my way to the snow-covered island.
The untamed has no words.
The unwritten pages spread out on every side!
I come upon the tracks of deer in the snow.
Language but no words.

• Translated from the Swedish by Robin Fulton from New Collected Poems, translated by Robin Fulton (Bloodaxe Books, 2011) 

One response to “bleak, yet powerful work wins Nobel Prize for literature

  1. more…
    excellent excerpts:

    (Nobel) Announcing the award in Stockholm, the Swedish Academy praised Mr. Tranströmer, saying that “through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality.”

    Critics have praised Mr. Tranströmer’s poems for their accessibility, even in translation, noting his elegant descriptions of long Swedish winters, the rhythm of the seasons and the palpable, atmospheric beauty of nature.

    “So much poetry, not only in this country but everywhere, is small and personal and it doesn’t look outward, it looks inward,” said Daniel Halpern, the president and publisher of Ecco, the imprint of HarperCollins that has published English translations of Mr. Tranströmer’s work. “But there are some poets who write true international poetry. It’s the sensibility that runs through his poems that is so seductive. He is such a curious and open and intelligent writer.”

    Neil Astley, the editor of Bloodaxe Books in Britain, called Mr. Tranströmer “a metaphysical visionary poet.”

    “He’s worked for much of his life as a psychologist, and the work is characterized by very strong psychological insight into humanity,” Mr. Astley said.

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