Tomas Tranströmer (b. Stockholm, April 15, 1931 Ė d. Stockholm, March 26, 2015) was a poet, translator and psychologist, whose poetry has been deeply influential in his native Sweden, as well as all over the world. His work has been translated into over seventy languages and his English translators include Robert Bly, Robin Fulton, Samuel Charters and May Swenson, among others. Tranströmer has been universally acclaimed as one of the most important European and Scandinavian writers since World War II; in 2001 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Critics have praised Tranströmerís poems for their accessibility and the poems that capture the long Swedish winters, the rhythm of the seasons and the palpable, atmospheric beauty of nature. His poems have a luminous presence in a world both seen and unseen.
Tranströmer started to write at a very early age when he was a student at the Södra Latin School in Stockholm. He graduated as a psychologist from Stockholm University in 1956 and continued to balance writing while working as a psychologist until he suffered a stroke in 1990. Since that time, he continued to write and published two works, Sorgegondolen (1996) and Den stora gåtan (2004).
Tranströmer generally wrote in free verse and favoured the use of simple images from nature and ordinary life. These are juxtaposed against conflicting images and become transformed into a surreal experience that reveals a profound and universal truth within the human condition. Tranströmer often wrote about music. He was an accomplished amateur musician, playing both piano and organ: he continued to play even after his stroke. In 2002 Bonnier Audio (Sweden) released Tomas Tranströmer: Klangen sager att friheten finns (The Sound is a Declaration of Freedom), a compact disc containing recordings of Tranströmer reading selections of his poetry and performing several classical piano pieces.
- 17 dikter (1954) - Seventeen Poems
- Hemligheter på vägen (1958)
- Den halvfärdiga himlen (1962) - The Half-Finished Heaven
- Klanger och spår (1966) - Windows and Stones
- Mörkerseende (1970) - Night Vision
- Stigar (1973) - Paths
- Östersjöar (1974) - Baltics
- Sanningsbarriären (1978)
- Det vilda torget (1983)
- För levande och d öda (1989) - For the Living and the Dead
- Sorgegondolen (1996)
- Den stora gåtan (2004)
- The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems (2006) - Translated by Robin Fulton
- Galleriet: Reflected in Vecka nr.II (2007) - an artist book by Modhir Ahmed
For additional information on Tomas Tranströmer and his poetry, please explore these links:
GRIFFIN POETRY PRIZE
Lifetime Recognition Award
for Tomas Tranströmer:
Interview with Tomas Tranströmer in which he reads the poem, "Allegro":