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Airmail: The Letters of Robert Bly and Tomas Tranströmer

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  47 ratings  ·  7 reviews
The illuminating letters of the National Book Award winning poet Robert Bly and the Nobel Prize winning poet Tomas Tranströmer

One day in spring 1964, the young American poet Robert Bly left his rural farmhouse and drove 150 miles to the University of Minnesota library in Minneapolis to obtain the latest book by the young Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer. When Bly returned
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Hardcover, 476 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by Graywolf Press (first published 2001)
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Average rating 4.30  · 
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 ·  47 ratings  ·  7 reviews


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Rebecca
(4.5) This was my first-ever Goodreads giveaway win. Way back in the summer of 2013, the good people of Graywolf Press spent a small fortune to send this tremendous book all the way from Minnesota to my tiny then-house on the outskirts of Reading, England. It took me an unconscionably long time first to pick it up, then to read it, and finally to review it. But here we are.

This is the first time Id read a literary correspondence, and I absolutely loved it. I knew very little about either poet
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Clive Thompson
Jul 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When I was young, growing up on a council estate, I saw older women as food shopping machines. There were no supermarkets so they visited ten different shops until they could carry no more and their only pleasure was to bump into someone in a similar position for a chat before going home to cook and then start the process again the following day (this was the fifties and sixties, and the sixties is a period covered by this book along with the seventies).
Without prying you could piece together
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Joseph
May 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Two giants of post-WWII literature exchanging letters about poetry, translation, politics, family, and their own deep friendship makes for riveting reading. This wonderful book made me put a considerable stack of enjoyable reading on hold while I read it, and my first impulse upon finishing it was to start right over again from the beginning. Yes, it's that good.

It's unfair to compare Airmail with Lisa Jarnot's Robert Duncan, The Ambassador from Venus: A Biography, of course, but since I read
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Michael
Jun 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I very much enjoyed this collection of letters. It drew me deeper into understanding poetry and poems (not only of these two authors). It helped me think about my own humanity and struggles. The letters often deal with the details of translations - mostly Blys translations of Transtromer - but sometimes vice versa. The letters certainly read also as signs of the times as they rail against what is happening politically in the world - and as they work out details of places that they will be ...more
Jim Puskas
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
The most intriguing aspect of the book is being able to observe the growing relationship between the two poets as it developed over the years. These two men became brothers in spirit, able to share complex, insightful ideas with only a word or two, much like a many-years-married couple. Such friendships are rare and precious when they occur. My own enjoyment of the book was greatly hampered by the fact that I don't like the actual poetry of either man. They epitomize the tendency toward ...more
Rebecca
Jun 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a collection of real letters, not a fictionalized version of life all perfectly composed and supporting a manufactured plot. A refreshing look at the growth of a friendship in a time when long distances were covered by airmail not email.
Roselle
It's a MUCH bigger book than I expected. Not one that I can finish in 21 days. Will have to finish it in my own time in the future ;-)
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Robert Bly is an American poet, author, activist and leader of the Mythopoetic Men's Movement.
Robert Bly was born in western Minnesota in 1926 to parents of Norwegian stock. He enlisted in the Navy in 1944 and spent two years there. After one year at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, he transferred to Harvard and thereby joined the famous group of writers who were undergraduates at that time, which
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