An International Poetry Forum Selection, translated from the Swedish by May Swenson with Leif Sjöberg.
Tomas Tranströmer 2011 Nobel Laureate in Literature
“Tomas Tranströmer, who is today one of Sweden’s most distinguished poets . . . can compare Lake Malar at dawn with a blue lamp, the islands creeping over the grass like nocturnal butterflies.”—New York Times
Tomas Tranströmer, one of Sweden’s leading poets, is the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2011. He is the author of numerous poetry collections including, most recently, Sorgegondolen (The Sorrow Gondola) and Den stora gatan (The Great Enigma). He has received the Lifetime Recognition Award from the Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry, the Aftonbladets Literary Prize, the Bonnier Award for Poetry, the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, the Oevralids Prize, the Petrarch Prize in Germany, the Swedish Award from International Poetry Forum, and the Swedish Academy’s Nordic Prize. His work has been translated into more than 50 languages.
May Swenson, translator, was a distinguished American poet and author of numerous collections, including Nature: Poems Old and New and May Out West.
Leif Sjöberg, translator, was professor of Swedish at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
“Tomas Tranströmer, who is today one of Sweden’s most distinguished poets . . . can compare Lake Malar at dawn with a blue lamp, the islands creeping over the grass like nocturnal butterflies. He can make his imagery credible. His work is very much a poetry centered on specific moments: the short minute that brings sudden relief, the sense of turning the back to everyday life and opening the window for a brief flash just to listen to the birds and the wind.”
—New York Times
“Tranströmer uses complex states of mind and feeling. The symbolism is individual but not hermetic: one feels a commonality with his meditations and the discoveries arising from them. Almost every poem is a double exposure: objective experience reported in the simplest terms, subjective revelation emerging as simultaneous underimage. For him the poem becomes a kind of divining rod that locates subsurface springs of self-knowledge.”
—May Swenson, from the preface