Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Deleted World by Tomas Tranströmer

The Deleted World: PoemsThe Deleted World: Poems by Tomas Tranströmer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm never sure about reading poetry that has been translated, but these are deliberately called "versions," and the translator gives some examples where the English words can't come close to what the Swedish equivalents would have sounded like.  He also gives descriptions of the other English-translated volumes of the poet's works, and what the reader can expect from each.  I'll probably try to pick up a few more, because this particular volume is pretty brief.

Tranströmer's poems are very tied to nature, and there isn't a single poem in this volume that does not have nature as a central theme, either representing itself or tying to topics like death, life, and connectivity. They are brief, but seem to leave room for the silence that the landscape he writes about demands. A few are specifically about some of the islands off the Swedish coast.

My favorite is probably Black Postcards, with the imagery of death coming to measure us for our measurements, sewing our suit on the sly while we go through our lives.

"We are afraid the storm will blow us empty."


  1. I put this one on my reading list. I'm working my way through Nobelists...


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