Tomas Transtromer Poems

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Tomas Transtromer
Tomas Tranströmer (born April 15, 1931) is a Swedish writer, poet and translator, whose poetry has been deeply influential in Sweden, as well as around the world. Tranströmer received his secondary education at the Södra Latin School in Stockholm and graduated as a psychologist from Stockholm University in 1956. He began writing at thirteen, and published his first collection of poems, 17 dikter (Seventeen Poems) in 1954. His latest collection, Den stora gåtan (The Great Enigma), was published in 2004, and an English translation of his entire body of work, The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems, was published in 2006. He published a short autobiography, Minnena ser mig (The memories are watching me), in 1993. Other poets - especially in the "political" 70's - accused him for being apart from his tradition and not including political issues in his poems and novels. His work, though, lies within and further develops the Modernist and Expressionist/Surrealist language of 20th century poetry; his clear, seemingly simple pictures from everyday life and nature in particular reveals a mystic insight to the universal aspects of the human mind. Tranströmer and the American poet Robert Bly are close friends and their correspondence has been published in the book Air Mail. In 1990, he suffered a stroke that affects his speech, but he continues to write. He has often been mentioned as a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature, and many consider him one of Sweden's foremost poets. Tranströmer's awards include the Bonnier Award for Poetry, the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, the Oevralids Prize, the Petrach Prize in Germany, and the Swedish Award from International Poetry Forum. His poetry has been translated into fifty languages; Bly, Robin Fulton, and the prominent American blues writer Samuel Charters have translated his work into English. In 2007, Tranströmer received a special Lifetime Recognition Award given by the trustees of the Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry, which also awards the annual Griffin Poetry Prize. In addition to his work as a writer, Tranströmer is also a respected psychologist. He has worked in juvenile prisons, and with disabled, convicts, and drug addicts. He is also a good piano player.

at funchal (island of madeira)
On the beach there's a seafood place, simple, a shack thrown up by
survivors of the shipwreck. ... [read poem]
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