Publishers Weekly, 2006-09-18 The major contemporary poet of Scandinavia, and a perennial Nobel Prize candidate (so rumor has it), Transtr?mer and his compact, sometimes grim lyricism have long enjoyed a serious following in the United States. This version from the Scot Fulton (whose first Transtr?mer selection appeared in 1987) contains everything Transtr?mer has published in book form. Transtr?mer's preferred land- and seascapes, drawn from the "spruce-clad coastland" of his native Sweden, have not changed much over his 50-year career: flat seas and frosty storms, swarming birds and contrapuntally beautiful summers, from which "society's dark hull drifts further and further away." His forms, however, have varied impressively: Sapphic stanzas, haiku, imagist lyric, prose sketches and several-page sequences all speak to one another. A clear competitor to Bly's well-received The Half-Finished Heaven (2001), this more comprehensive collection concludes with the rarely seen short poems of Transtr?mer's recent years. Some will note political undercurrents ("The language marches in step with the executioners./ Therefore we must get a new language"), yet Transtr?mer's dominant moods are almost warily inward-turning while given to hope: "I find myself in the deep corridor/ that would have been dark," the poet declares, "if my right hand wasn't shining like a torch." (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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