Tomas Transtromer Receives Nobel Prize For Literature
The Nobel prize for literature has been given to psychologist and writer Tomas Transtromer this year as the 80 year old becomes the first Swedish poet to receive the big prize since 1974.
Although the selection aroused some controversial talks, Tomas Transtromer has been considered by the many writers the most eligible poet for the literature prize. Given his Swedish nationality, there have been some rumors which consider the jury decision as a suspicious one.
Secretary of the Swedish Academy Peter Englund said he had been aware of the potential remarks but also claimed that nobody should judge the decision as long as this literature prize is received by a Swedish writer after nearly four decades.
Eyvind Johnson and Harry Martinson were the last Swedish writers to win the Nobel prize for literature back in 1974. Robin Fulton, who has translated Transtromer’s New Collected Poems, also admitted Swedish’s eligibility.
Even more than that, the Scottish poet said that “In some sense the win was expected – it’s looking back on a life’s work. He’s terribly famous already, just about as famous as a poet could be. Some writers become famous after they get the Nobel – he was famous before.”
As expected, the nominees were not made public, tradition which lasts for more than six decades. Transtromer is well known for his unique poems which regard the everyday life, the relationships between the human beings as well as the mysteries of nature.
The octogenarian has become one of the most famous Swedish writers if not the most famous one, who still inspires other contemporary poets. His writings have also been translated in tens of foreign languages.
Transtromer was born on April 15, 1931 and followed the Sodra Latin Scholl in Stockholm, period in which he discovered his passion for poetry. In 1954 the Swedish writer published his first volume of poems entitled Seventeen Poems. Tow years later he followed the Stockholm University where he studied psychology, but also religion, literature and history.
Allegro (poem by Tomas Transtromer)
‘After a black day, I play Haydn,
and feel a little warmth in my hands.
The keys are ready. Kind hammers fall.
The sound is spirited, green, and full of silence.
The sound says that freedom exists
and someone pays no tax to Caesar.
I shove my hands in my haydnpockets
and act like a man who is calm about it all.
I raise my haydnflag. The signal is:
“We do not surrender. But want peace.”
The music is a house of glass standing on a slope;
rocks are flying, rocks are rolling.
The rocks roll straight through the house
but every pane of glass is still whole.’11