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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A view from the edge of consciousness, 17 Oct. 2003
By 
Graham Mummery (Sevenoaks, Kent England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Half-Finished Heaven, The: The Best Poems of Tomas Transtromer (Paperback)
Tomas Transtromer, as the cover of the book advises, is probably Sweden's best-known living writer. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize several times, and finally won it in 2011. To some in the British press, it was greeted with the customary "who?" about writers outside the English language. But to people in the poetry world this was considered long overdue. For some time he has been considered possibly the greatest living poet in any language, and he has been translated into many outside his native Swedish.

Transtromer writes poems in free verse with great economy of words and startling images. These often inhabit a landscape that lies on the edge between waking and dreaming. But then Transtromer was a psychologist as well as a poet. So, perhaps, this has soaked into his vision. It is a modern landscape of countryside with pieces of used machinery left in it. A landscape inhabiting many turns of mind: from bewilderment and loss to great happiness. He is a poet of both joy and sorrow.

Robert Bly was one of the first to translate Transtromer into English and is a friend of the great man. Their relationship is chronicled in a wonderful volume of letters, "Air Mail," published in 2013. These translations give a wonderful impression of great poetry. The language is so beautiful. One forgets they are translations and leaves the book wanting more.

And there are more. Robin Fulton's New Collected Poems from Bloodaxe has these as well as different translations of the same poems done with equal dexterity. But that is not that much more, as Transtromer has been as economical in the production of poems he has been language used in individual poems.

Which ever volume you choose, one finishes the book with only one sadness: that that there is not more! If you want a "Selected", go for Bly. If you want the lot go for Fulton. But for the best of all possible worlds get both!
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5.0 out of 5 stars half-finished heaven, 12 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: Half-Finished Heaven, The: The Best Poems of Tomas Transtromer (Paperback)
I could relax and enjoy 'the trip', framework by framework. And, at the same time, I felt that intertextual references had been activated activated and all the senses were alive. Cold light, bright words. Worth the time, every second of it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 24 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Half-Finished Heaven, The: The Best Poems of Tomas Transtromer (Paperback)
Wow
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Half-Finished Heaven, The: The Best Poems of Tomas Transtromer
Half-Finished Heaven, The: The Best Poems of Tomas Transtromer by Tomas Transtromer (Paperback - 12 Aug. 2010)
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