Imagine when Tomas Tranströmer received the Nobel Prize in 2011. I sat and gazed from a grandstand far, far up in the Concert Hall in Stockholm. Down there the poet in his wheelchair, on the big stage, one man, unable to talk – surrounded by applause. Total enclosed. I promise that such a warmth I’ve never been through that roof are still there, and not burned off, is a miracle.
He is our time greatest. A “difficult” poet who was beloved by the people. A man who with their breathtaking metaphors opened the vault after vault inside us. His poems have changed my life, purified me and lift me.
In addition, he was a consummate human being, with no “cultural man” viciousness and graces. He worked as a psychologist until the unfortunate stroke in 1990, he translated English poetry, he worked in Biblical Commission, he taught creative writing … and so he wrote twelve books of poetry and a small bead of memoirs (“Memories Look at Me”). The production is not great, but the more tangible to the reader. And fully charged, every word, every line, every punctuation is low-key dynamite.
Whenever I walk past the pin Offices’ round house in the middle of Linköping in late dog walking, with the cathedral tower in the fund, candles in the windows, calm after today battles … then I think of Tomas Tranströmer. In here he sat in his Linköpingsår and read international poetry magazines in what was then the Library. Just to get a little breath of the world, his wife Monica told me. It was 1960-1966, and they lived in “psychologist villa” in the youth prison Roxtuna outside Linköping. Monica was only 19 years old when they moved there, Tomas 26th
Both their children, Paula and Emma, born in Linköping. When I interviewed Monica and her daughter Emma Roxtuna time they remembered it with great warmth. As a “Noisy existence”, Emma said. If her dad said she was “really sweet. A father who makes you feel loved and seen, more could you not wish for.”
When the Neva Books in Rimforsa was shown a photo exhibition based on his poems, I called Monica and Tomas. He he had seen the show twice (other) direction and liked it. And how is he? Monica replied with his usual friendly and cool voice: “Well, pretty good, I think, we’re a little tired because we’ve just arrived home from a holiday week in Cyprus. We rejoice that spring will now take us out and look on hepatica. Hepatica is important. “
It was a year ago.
I often returns to his poem” Romanesque arches “, one of the world’s most beautiful, with the line:
“You will never be finished, and that is as it should be.”
Is it? Is it safe? am I good enough? Yes, replies the poem, yes, it is as it should.
Thanks Tomas Tranströmer.