For such works as "Baltics" and "Windows and Stones," literary critics have praised Transtromer's gift for making fine, concentrated observations without ducking larger questions. Later in life, he began exploring complex themes of memory, aging and death.
The Nobel committee said that "through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality."
Waking up is a parachute jump from dreams.
Free of the suffocating turbulence the traveller sinks toward the green zone of morning . - prelude of The Great Enigma .
about death and history and memory, watching us, creating us, and that makes us important, because human beings are sort of the prism where all these great entities meet.... You can never feel small after reading the poetry of Tomas Transtromer.
the words of Seamus Heaney from a blurb on the back cover:
"In its delicate hovering between the responsibilities of the social world and the invitations of a world of possibly numinous reality, Tomas Transtromer's poetry permits us to be happily certain of our own uncertainties."
Paper, 288pp., $16.95
The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems, by Tomas Tranströmer
Translated from the Swedish by Robin Fulton
At long last, the Collected Poems of one of the world's greatest living writers, Tomas Tranströmer, is now available in this comprehensive edition.
"In its delicate hovering between the responsibilities of the social world and the invitations of a world of possibly numinous reality, Tomas Tranströmer's poetry permits us to be happily certain of our own uncertainties.... Like the animals in Rilke's first sonnet to Orpheus, they are alive to the god's music which 'makes a temple deep inside their hearing.'" --Seamus Heaney, Nobel Laureate
In day's first hours consciousness can grasp the world
Translated into fifty languages, the poetry of Tomas Tranströmer has had a profound influence around the world, an influence that has steadily grown and has now attained a prominence comparable to that of Pablo Neruda's during his lifetime. But if Neruda is blazing fire, Tranströmer is expanding ice. The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems gathers all the poems Tomas Tranströmer has published, from his distinctive first collection in 1954, 17 Poems, through his epic poem Baltics ("my most consistent attempt to write music"), and The Sad Gondola, published six years after he suffered a debilitating stroke in 1990 ("I am carried in my shadow / like a violin / in its black case."), to his most recent slim book, The Great Enigma, published in Sweden in 2004. Also included is his prose-memoir Memories Look at Me, containing keys into his intensely spiritual, metaphysical poetry (like the brief passage of insect collecting on Runmarö Island when he was a teenager). Firmly rooted in the natural world, his work falls between dream and dream; it probes "the great unsolved love" with the opening up, through subtle modulations, of "concrete words."
Born in Stockholm in 1931, TOMAS TRANSTRÖMER worked as a psychologist for juvenile offenders for many years. He is regularly shortlisted for the Nobel Prize, and has received several public recognitions for his poetry, including the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, the Bonnier Award for Poetry, Germany's Petrarch Prize, the Bellman Prize, the Swedish Academy's Nordic Prize, and the August Prize. In 1997 the city of Västerås established a special Tranströmer Prize. ROBIN FULTON, a Scottish resident of Norway, has been translating Tranströmer for over thirty-five years. His many prizes include the the Swedish Academy Translation Award.
Date of Publication: October 2006