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The deleted world by Tomas Transtromer

The deleted world (2006)

by Tomas Transtromer

Other authors: Robin Robertson (Translator)

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514229,653 (3.28)1



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The bad news? About half of the poems in this (very) slim volume didn't really do much for me.
The good news? The other half I absolutely loved.

(Full disclaimer: I will be the first person to admit that I know next to nothing about poetry. I cannot write eloquently about it, let alone critique it properly. More often than not I'm unable to even articulate why I like the poems that I do. All I know is the way poems make me feel (or don't) when I read them, and that is what I am basing my rating on.)

My favorites from this collection are A Winter Night, Solitude (I), and Black Postcards. I'm looking forward to checking out [b:The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems|305941|The Great Enigma New Collected Poems|Tomas Tranströmer|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327902895s/305941.jpg|296933]. ( )
  cait815 | Apr 1, 2013 |
A lovely little glimpse of Tranströmer's oeuvre. I pretty much always approve of en face editions, and it's really interesting to see how Robertson shifts the grammar and line breaks (Swedish seems to have a lot of cognates with English, which I totally did not know and am overjoyed to discover). The introductory essay starts well and then collapses into an overblown paean of the worst type of criticism. The poems themselves are gorgeous, full of arresting images and deceptively simple diction — like Billy Collins without the self-centeredness, and with a lot more imagination. ( )
  cricketbats | Mar 30, 2013 |
More, please!

I wish the publisher had been more generous with the selections included. This is a very thin volume.

It would perhaps be understandable if this were a chapbook and Tranströmer was a young unknown. But with the low number of selections - and the general amount of white space on the pages - it's quite disappointing for a senior poet who has recently been awarded the Nobel Prize. ( )
  yooperprof | Mar 30, 2013 |
Short collection from highly regarded Swedish poet.

Before Vargas Llosa was announced as the recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature the favourite was the Swedish poet, Tomas Tranströmer. This is important to bear in mind as I came to this collection with high expectations. It turns out this is not a bona fide collection but a selection of Tranströmer's poetry from throughout his career chosen and translated by the Scottish poet, Robin Robertson. There is an obvious sympathetic link between the two - an austere natural world, light, life struggling on, etc.
So why didn't I enjoy this collection more? With a couple of exceptions I just never connected with the poems; I could admire them but they just didn't speak to me on any level, too many times I finished reading thinking, 'Mmmmm'. This may not be the failure of the poems though, it may be mine, unable to empathise with the material, unwilling to spend more time digging deeper. However, at the end of the book were two poems I did 'get'.:

From March 1979 (p37)

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 (p39)

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

Will I read more Tranströmer? Possibly, if I like two poems there may be fifty more I will like. Do I think he deserves the Nobel Prize? Not on this showing , not when there poets like Paul Muldoon or Saadi Youssef still writing. ( )
  Jargoneer | Apr 12, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tomas Transtromerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Robertson, RobinTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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