Exit Viewer

The Works of Tomas Transtromer: The Universality of Poetry By Lee Ching Lim ...

Chapter 1:  Introduction
image Next
The Works of Tomas Transtromer:

Chapter 1


Tomas Tranströmer is one of the rare Swedish poets to have achieved international fame. The development of his poetry over a long career has been a steady one, maintaining a nexus of ideas that has largely held fast amid the changes to international literature and world affairs—and Tranströmer’s own place in it. Unlike some prominent writers of our age—and of ages past—there is hardly anything dramatic about the ascendance of his poetry. If anything, it is this lack of overt excitement that really marks the achievements. It also forms the basis of the present study. In the combination of an unassuming quality, quiet persistence and consistency, and relative lack of renown, his poetry offers a crucial lesson on the possibilities of sensible conduct in a culture that privileges the extravagance of novelty. This book will show how much we have to learn from Tomas Tranströmer.

The remarkably absent externalising quality of the writing is consistent with the man behind the words. It is also a constant that has served contemporary poetry and literature well, as a dependable sounding board for some of the crucial ideas and concerns that define our times. To maintain that this constancy defines the Tranströmerian craft would also be, at best, a partial truth, for there is a deeper process of maturation