For the Living and the Deadby Tomas Tranströmer
Combining poetry and a memoir of his childhood in Sweden in one volume, For the Living and the Dead once again demonstrates Tomas TranstrÖmer's gift for capturing and grounding the elusive, luminous details of our modern world. A work that bridges the space between those real and unreal elements of life, it suggests that a surprising, redemptive cohesion can
Combining poetry and a memoir of his childhood in Sweden in one volume, For the Living and the Dead once again demonstrates Tomas TranstrÖmer's gift for capturing and grounding the elusive, luminous details of our modern world. A work that bridges the space between those real and unreal elements of life, it suggests that a surprising, redemptive cohesion can exist within a universe of opposing forces.
- HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.80(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)
Read an Excerpt
THE FORGOTTEN CAPTAIN
We have many shadows. I was on the way home
in the September night when Y
climbed out of his grave after forty years
and kept me company.
At first he was entirely empty, only a name,
but his thoughts swam
faster than the time ran
and caught up to us.
I put his eyes to mine and saw
the sea in wartime.
The last boat he commanded
grew beneath us.
The ships of the Atlantic convoy crept before and behind,
the ones that would survive
and the ones that had been given The Mark
(invisible to everyone)
while the sleepless nights relieved each other
but never him.
The life jacket sat under the oil skin.
He never came home.
He bled to death from an inner weeping
in a hospital in Cardiff.
He finally got to lie down
and turn into horizon.
Goodbye eleven knot convoys! Goodbye 1940!
Here ends the history of the world.
The bombing planes were left hanging.
The heaths bloomed.
The photo from the turn of the century shows a beach.
Standing there are six dressed up boys.
They have sailboats in their arms.
What serious expressions!
The boats that become life and death for some of them.
And to write about the dead
is also a game that gets heavy
with what is to come.
Meet the Author
Tomas Transtromer, recipient of the 2011 Nobel Prize for Literature, was born in Stockholm in 1931 and is a psychologist by profession. One of Sweden’s most distinguished poets, he has also received the Bonnier Poetry Prize and the Petrarch Prize in Germany. He lives in Stockholm with his wife, Monica.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I have never read any poetry quite like Mr. Transtomer's. It's fantastic! He's so real and straightforward, and that's what is really good. Many poets are very abstract and it's hard to figure out what they are trying to say, but Tomas Transtromer is different. His work seems so simple when you first read it, but then you read it again and you find all these different parts to it, all these innuendos that you didn't realize where there. It's so interesting to read and I definitely recommend it for anyone who wants to read poetry. It's astounding.