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Plötsligt möter vandraren här den gamla  
jätteeken, lik en förstenad älg med  
milsvid krona framför septemberhavets
      svartgröna fästning.

Nordlig storm. Det är i den tid när rönnbärs‐ 
klasar mognar. Vaken i mörkret hör man
stjärnbilderna stampa i sina spiltor
      högt över trädet.

Gezgin aniden karşısına çıkan
dev gibi meşe ağacına bakakaldı.
Taşlaştırılmış bir ren geğiğinin başında
biteviye uzayıp giden bir taç yansıyor
Eylül denizinin yeşil siyah sularında.
Kuzey fırtınası bu.
Üvez ağacının meyvalarının
olgunlaştığı zaman esmeye başlıyor.
Karanlıklarda yıldız haritalarının
ağaç tepelerine vurduğu damga sesiyle uyanıyor insan.
(İsveççe'den çeviren: Yavuz Çekirge)

 Det vilda torget (1983)
Trött på alla som kommer med ord, ord men inget  
for jag till den snötäckta ön.
Det vilda har inga ord.
De oskrivna sidorna breder ut sig åt alla håll!
Jag stöter på spåren av rådjursklövar i snön.
Språk men inga ord.
Yaban meydanı
Bu karla kaplı adaya
kelimelerle gelenlerden bıktım artık.
Kelimeleri var ama dilleri yok.
Yaban hayatın kelimeleri yok,ama
O yazılmamış sayfalar her yana savrulmuş
Yaban hayvanlarının kar üzerindeki ayak izlerine bakıyorum
Dilleri var ama, kelimeleri yok..
(İsveççeden Çeviren: Yavuz Çekirge)

“In 1931, Tomas Tranströmer was born in Stockholm, Sweden. He attended the University of Stockholm, where he studied psychology and poetry.

One of Sweden’s most important poets, Tranströmer has sold thousands of volumes in his native country, and his work has been translated into more than fifty languages. His books of poetry include The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems (New Directions, 2003), The Half-Finished Heaven (2001); New Collected Poems (1997); For the Living and the Dead (1995); Baltics (1974);Paths (1973); Windows and Stones (1972), an International Poetry Forum Selection and a runner-up for the National Book Award for translation; The Half-Finished Sky (1962); and Seventeen Poems(1954).

His work has gradually shifted from the traditional and ambitious nature poetry written in his early twenties toward a darker, personal, and more open verse. His work barrels into the void, striving to understand and grapple with the unknowable, searching for transcendence.

“I am the place / where creation is working itself out,” he declares in his poem “The Outpost,” about which he wrote “This kind of religious idea recurs here and there in my poems of late, that I see a kind of meaning in being present, in using reality, in experiencing it, in making something of it.”

Tranströmer’s honors and awards include the Aftonbladets Literary Prize, the Bonnier Award for Poetry, the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, the Oevralids Prize, the Petrach Prize in Germany, and the Swedish Award from International Poetry Forum.

He has read at many American universities. Tranströmer is a respected psychologist, and has worked at a juvenile prison, and with the disabled, convicts, and drug addicts. He lives with his wife Monica in Vasteras, west of Stockholm.”


  • Will Skidelsky
  • The Observer 

But the Nobel committee, if you look at the winners since the prize began in 1901, has an atrocious record for recognising real greatness. It’s worth remembering that as prize decisions go, this one is pretty easy. You don’t have to spot a talented writer early on in his or her career or pick out a particular book. As long as you get ’em before they die, there really isn’t a time limit. And with these advantages, who have the committee overlooked down the years? The list is a roll-call of genius: Tolstoy, James, Proust, Joyce, Woolf, Fitzgerald, Larkin, Salinger and Munro to name a few.

The prize is flagrantly pro-European  laureates have been from Europe) and anti-American (in 2008 the then permanent secretary, Horace Engdahl, described American literature as “too insular”, which no doubt helps explain why Cormac McCarthy and Philip Roth haven’t won).

But is any of this surprising? Why should a group of self-appointed Swedes be expected to get it right? The problem is that the Nobel’s inherent grandeur leads us to think of it as some kind of universal, definitive judgment and we treat its decisions with undue reverence, when really they mean very little.


Tomas Tranströmer

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