Tomas Transtroemer

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Tomas Tranströmer


is regarded as the leading Swedish poet of his generation even though his collected poems can be contained in one volume of only a couple of hundred pages. ‘17 dikter’ 1954 ('17 Poems’), ‘Östersjöar’, 1974 (‘Baltics’, 1980), ‘Mörkerseende’, 1970 ('Night Vision', 1972), and ‘Sanningsbarriären’, 1978 (‘Truth Barriers’, 1984) are among his most important collections of poetry. Tomas Tranströmer received the Nordic Council Literature Prize in 1990, the Swedish Academy Nordic Prize in 1991, the Griffin Lifetime Recognition Award (Canada) in 2007, and the Nobel Prize in 2011.

Bibliothek des Meeres



Großer und langsamer Wind== Aus der Bibliothek des Meeres Hier darf ich ruhen

Tomas Tranströmer (1931-2015)



Granda kaj malrapida vento== el la biblioteko de la maro -- cxi tie mi permesas resti

Tomas Tranströmer (1931-2015) transl. by version 1.0



Big and slowly wind out of the library of the sea Here i am allowed to rest.

Tomas Tranströmer (1931-2015) transl. by version 1.0



Die Erinnerungen sehen mich

Tranströmer, Tomas Hanser, 1999 9783446196704 ... Der Kopf, das ist die Zeit des Heranwachsens. Der Kern ist die sehr frühe Kindheit, wo die wichtigsten Züge in unserem leben festgelegt werden. Weiter hinten verdünnt sich der Komet - das ist der längere Teil, die Zeit unseres Erwachsenenlebens. In seinem Buch versucht der schwedische Dichter sich dem Kern zu nähern, der Existenz.

homepage war mal auf: ... da kommt nun marketing stuff. k. 150819


The poem ‘Allegro' == is from the collection 'Den halvfärdiga himlen' (‘The Half-Finished Heaven’), written in 1962:

“I play Haydn after a black day and feel a simple warmth in my hands.

The keys are willing. Soft hammers strike. The resonance green, lively and calm.

The music says freedom exists and someone doesn't pay the emperor tax.

I push down my hands in my Haydnpockets and imitate a person looking on the world calmly.

I hoist the Haydnflag - it signifies: “We don't give in. But want peace.”

The music is a glass-house on the slope where the stones fly, the stones roll.

And the stones roll right through but each pane stays whole."

(Translated by Robin Fulton, New Collected Poems, Bloodaxe Books, 1997/2011)


It grows, it takes my place.

It grows, it takes my place.
It pushes me aside.
It throws me out of the nest.
The poem is ready.
Tomas Tranströmer ... 26.03.2015


The Couple

They turn out the lamplight, and its white globe glimmers for a moment: an aspirin rising and falling then dissolving in a glass of darkness. Around them, the hotel walls slide like a back-drop up into the night sky.

Love’s drama has died down, and they’re sleeping now, but their dreams will meet as colours meet and bleed into each other in the dampened pages of a child’s painting-book.

All around is dark, and silent. The city has drawn in, extinguishing its windows. The houses have approached. They crowd in close, attentive: this audience of cancelled faces. ___________________ TO FRIENDS BEHIND A BORDER


I wrote to you so cautiously. But what I couldn't say filled and grew like a hot-air balloon and finally floated away through the night sky.


Now my letter is with the censor. He lights his lamp. In its glare my words leap out like monkeys at a wire mesh, clattering it, stopping to bear their teeth.


Read between the lines. We will meet in two hundred years when the microphones in the hotel walls are forgotten – when they can sleep at last, become ammonites.

From March 1979

Sick of those who come with words, words but no language, I make my way to the snow-covered island.

Wilderness has no words. The unwritten pages stretch out in all directions.

I come across this line of deer-slots in the snow: a language, language without words.

Black Postcards


The calendar is full but the future is blank. The wires hum the folk-tune of some forgotten land. Snow-fall on the lead-still sea. Shadows scrabble on the pier.


In the middle o life, death comes to take your measurements. The visit is forgotten and life goes on. But the suit is being sewn on the sly.

Fire Graffiti

Throughout those dismal months my life was only sparked alight when I made love to you. As the firefly ignites and fades, ignites and fades, we follow the flashes of its flight in the dark among the olive trees.

Throughout those dismal months, my soul sat slumped and lifeless but my body walked to yours. The night sky was lowing. We milked the cosmos secretly, and survived.

Island City, 1860

I One day when she was rinsing clothes at the jetty the chill of the sea rose up through her arms and into her soul.

Her tears froze to a pair of spectacles. The island gathered itself, its white grass bristling, and the herring lag streamed in the depths of the sea.

II The swarm of smallpox caught up with him and settled on his face. He lies in bed, staring into the ceiling.

What huge effort to move through this silence. The stain of this moment spreading out forever, this moment's wound in its ever- widening pool.


Meine Werkzeuge