The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems (Paperback)
On Our Shelves Now
In day's first hours consciousness can grasp the world as the hand grips a sun-warmed stone Translated into fifty languages, the poetry of Tomas Transtromer 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, Transtromer is expanding ice.The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems gathers all the poems Tomas Transtromer 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 Runmaro 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.
About the Author
Tomas Transtromer, winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature, is one of the most celebrated and influential poetic figures of his generation. He was born in Stockholm in 1931 and educated at the Sodra Latin School and the University of Stockholm, where he received a degree in psychology. He began his psychology career in the early 1960s at Roxtuna, a juvenile corrections institute in Sweden, and worked for several decades in the field. Since the publication of 17 Dikter (17 Poems) in 1954, Transtromer has written eleven full-length collections of poetry, most recently Den stora gatan (The Vast Enigma) in 2004. He is one of the world's most translated poets (with books appearing in numerous editions in over fifty languages). In addition to his renown as a poet, Transtromer is also a highly regarded concert pianist and entomologist. He lives with his wife in Stockholm.
Robin Fulton, a Scottish poet and longtime resident of Norway, has been translating Transtromer for over thirty-five years.