Translated from the Swedish by Malena Mörling
36 pages / hand-sewn pamphlet / $10.00
WINNER OF THE 2011 NOBEL PRIZE IN LITERATURE This book collects two separate but related works, each translated for the first time into English by the noted poet Malena Mörling. Tomas Tranströmer's First Poems is a critical study by Jonas Ellerström that examines the connection between the poetry Tranströmer wrote as a teenager and the poetry that appeared in his first book, 17 Dikter (17 Poems). As requested by Tomas Tranströmer, the ten poems featured in Ellerström's essay are never to be included in Tranströmer's Collected Poems, making this publication the only venue in English where one can read the Nobel Laureate's juvenilia. The second piece in this volume, Notes From the Land of Lap Fever, is a lyrically driven personal essay written and published by Tranströmer in 1953. Like much of the poet's work, this essay showcases a man in search of meaning, a writer whose journey into Lapland begins: "So, I've listened long enough to this timid cry from the wilderness. I am going back there perhaps to retrieve a part of myself I might have left behind."
Tomas Tranströmer, 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 Södra 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, Tranströmer has written eleven full-length collections of poetry, most recently Den stora gåtan (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, Tranströmer is also a highly regarded concert pianist and entomologist. He lives with his wife in Stockholm.
"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."
— Seamus Heaney