Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Thomas Tranströmer

On the 2011 Nobel Prize Winner
 in Literature
Thomas Tranströmer

Thomas Tranströmer et alter at the 2011 Nobel Prize Award Ceremony
Thomas Tranströmer is a Swedish poet who won the 2011 Nobel Prize for his poetry collections, born in Stockholm on April 15, 1931, where he studied literature at the University of Stockholm.

Tranströmer first published poems in a few journals, he then published in 1954 17 dikter (17 poems) – one of the most acclaimed literary debuts of that decade. With the following collections –Hemligheter på vägen (1958; Secrets along the way), Den halvfärdiga himlen (1962; The Half-Finished Heaven, 2001) and Klanger och spår(1966; Selected Poems, 1972) – he consolidated his eminence among critics and other readers as one of the leading poets of his generation. The suite, Östersjöar(1974;Baltics, 1975), gathers fragments of a family chronicle from Runmarö Island in the Stockholm archipelago, where Tranströmer has spent many summers with his maternal grandfather, a pilot, since his boyhood. Minnena ser mig(1993; Memories look at me in New Collected Poems, 1997), reminiscences from this 30's and 40's.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality, as exhibited in his poem Allegro, where powerful metaphores convey a sense of visual reality with a surreal taste.

2011 Nobel Award Plate

The announcement of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature was made by Professor Peter Englund, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, on October 6.



I play Haydn after a black day
and feel a simple warmth in my hands.

The keys are willing. Soft hammers strike.
The resonance green, lively and calm.

The music says freedom exists
and someone doesn't pay the emperor tax.

I push down my hands in my Haydnpockets
and imitate a person looking on the world calmly.

I hoist the Haydnflag - it signifies:
"We don't give in. But want peace.'

The music is a glass-house on the slope
where the stones fly, the stones roll.

And the stones roll right through
but each pane stays whole.

The Half-Finished Heaven

Despondency breaks off its course.
Anguish breaks off its course.
The vulture breaks off its flight.

The eager light streams out,
even the ghosts take a draught.

And our paintings see daylight,
our red beasts of the ice-age studios.

Everything begins to look around.
We walk in the sun in hundreds.

Each man is a half-open door
leading to a room for everyone.

The endless ground under us.
The water is shinig among the trees.
The lake is a window into the earth.


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