Tomas Tranströmer, the poet whose words have so often helped people to express their grief when loved one dies, is buried today in Stockholm Cathedral.
Numerous Swedes over the years has quoted him in death announcements and FUNERAL ORATION . The famous lines “Do not be ashamed that you are human, be proud!” from the poem Romanesque arches are perhaps the most common quote – and Prime Minister Göran Persson read the entire poem at the memorial ceremony for Anna Lindh, 2003.
But Tomas Tranströmer is not only beloved by the people in their homeland. The Swedish national poet hailed by the entire poetry reading world. He is a poet, the poet who had a significant influence on the modern international poetry development – while also testify ordinary readers in many countries about how much his universal message means to them.
“Tomas Tranströmer has now for many years been one of my refuge. His poetry books on my shelves are never unwrapped a long time. I turn to him when I want to get as close as possible to that which can not be said. The past decade was full of dark years and I returned time and again to the poets’ , writes the nigerianskamerikanske writer Teju Cole in the New Yorker.
– Tomas Tranströmer also works in other languages. Whether we are in South America or in Vietnam, we are talking about the same poems. Objectivity and the enormous contour sharpness of the images can be transferred to other languages, says Niklas Schiöler, Tranströmer Connoisseurs and author.
– First and foremost it’s about quality. He writes about universal humanity and human limitlessness. It works both in South Africa and Siberia, he said.
Tomas Tranströmer’s death a month ago attracted attention worldwide. Translated into more than 60 languages, he was hailed in all major international media. Tranströmer became world famous as early as the 1960s, thanks to the American Robert Bly’s translations into English – and interest in him became greater than ever when he received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2011.
“His lyrics shines through its simplicity , its delicacy in its expression and its intimate impression, metaphor wealth “, writes the French newspaper Le Monde after the poet’s death.
Also German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung emphasizes, like so many others, that the dead the poet was a master of metaphor and writes that “ secret of Tranströmer’s poetry has with his images, his metaphors to do.”
Also in China is Tranströmer a big name. Chinese news portal Sina writes: “With precise feelings he expressed a sense of calm in the lyrics, and was within contemporary European poetry circles known as a master of symbolism and surrealism.”
And another Chinese news portal, Ifeng, publishes a slideshow with a quote of Tranströmer: “When I write poetry, I often feel like a Chinaman.”
American New York Times published a long obituary and writes:
“Tomas Tranströmer was known for astute metaphors hidden in a misleading restrained language, crystal clear descriptions of the beauty of nature and the exploration of identity and creativity mysteries. “
Tranströmer was already translated by debut 1954. But his friendship with the norskättade American poet Robert Bly led to an international breakthrough in the 1960s. Then reinforced his worldwide reputation with each new collection of poems and he came to be regarded as a beacon of poets worldwide.
– He has also been successful with their translators. Many of them are very prominent poets of the great cultural languages, because it was such an impact abroad. Robert Bly in the United States did a tremendous job, also Joseph Brodsky in Russian and Bei Dao in Chinese, says Niklas Schiöler.
Similarly, introduced the Swedish poet in Arabic by the famous Syrian poet Adonis, self-touted Nobel laureates, together with Expressens Kassem Hamade. The two translated in collaboration poet’s collected works, published in Arabic in 2005.
Tranströmer got to know Lead closest by accident in 1964 when he sought contact with another American poet, says Niklas Schiöler. But the letter sent Tranströmer ended up instead with Robert Bly, editor of a literary magazine. Tranströmer had interest in new American poetry and Bly, who had heard about the Swede, introduced the international literature “so there was mutual interest,” according Schiöler. The two poets close friendship and cooperation shown by their overall correspondence in 2001 was published in the book “Air Mail: 150 1964 1990 letter.”
– He was a great poet. Absolutely lovely. It’s a terrible loss, a wonderful friend I will always be lacking, says Robert Bly to Göteborgs-Posten shortly after the poet’s death.
Lead was not the only translator into English. He paved the way for a series of other Tranströmer Interpreter in world language. Niklas Schiöler says he once wrote about a Tranströmer poem that is available in five different English translations. And the other year broke a bitter literary feud in the UK between two respected translator who disagreed about how the Swedish poet would best dressed in English-language costume.
A lot of poetry world burst in a joint “ Finally!” when Tomas Tranströmer finally awarded the Nobel Prize in 2011. He had for years been an obvious candidate, but was stopped – according to unanimous assessments – the Swedish Academy’s fear of appointing a Swedish prize winners since the previously received sharp criticism for having chosen Swedes, even from their own ranks.
Tranströmer’s international fame was firmly established long before he got the world’s most prestigious literary prize. To describe the Daily News a poetry festival in New York 1993:
“Tomas Tranströmer was honored with a marathon reading. None of those who read – John Ashbery, Samuel Charters, Derek Walcott and others in a panel Twelve people – plunged the opportunity to speak about the importance Tranströmer has for contemporary international colleagues. Bei Dao and Robert Bly was mentioned. Joseph Brodsky, who also was involved but been prevented, admitted that he himself had stolen some metaphors of this metaphor the champion. “
– Former Nobel Laureate Seamus Heany, Joseph Brodsky and Wislawa Szymborska complained that Tranströmer not got the price. They wondered why they got the price and not their master, says Niklas Schiöler.
– The Academy is happy enough that it could give him the price. Tomas Tranströmer and Selma Lagerlof, the two Swedish Nobel Laureate in Literature, whose name will live on internationally.
– The international process continues. It becomes more intense with new translations into English and other languages. It is writing that is ongoing, he said.