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The Deleted World

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  371 ratings  ·  63 reviews
In this, his 75th year, Tomas Transtromer can be clearly recognised not just as Sweden's most important poet, but as a writer of international stature whose work speaks to us now with undiminished clarity and resonance. Long celebrated as a master of the arresting, suggestive image, Transtromer is a poet of the liminal: drawn again and again to thresholds of light and of ...more
Paperback, 47 pages
Published August 31st 2006 by Enitharmon Press (first published January 1st 2006)
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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David Schaafsma
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
A slim 2006 collection of poetry from the Swedish poet and therapist Tomas Tranströmer, who worked with young people as a psychologist with troubled youth at a juvenile detention facility and won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2015. He was also an accomplished pianist who suffered a stroke later in life, only able to use his left hand to play after that. Composers the world over sent him left hand compositions for him to play, doesn't that make you happy?

The poems in Deleted World are typical
...more
Czarny Pies
I spent an absolutely delightful afternoon at the lake with this charming volume which I found on the shelf of the local library. Robin Robertson who prepared the English versions of the Transtömer poems contained in this volume is without question an excellent poet. The chief problem is that the delightful tones and cadences of the Swedish texts cannot be rendered in English which Robertson himself readily acknowledges in his preface:

"The supply rhythms of the original poems are hard to
...more
Deea
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those who want to discover nature translated into words and feelings.
Shelves: nobel, poetry
I thought that poetry was not for me, but lately I have started to develop a taste for it. And the effect of some of these poems really lingers...

The Couple

They turn out the lamplight, and its white globe
glimmers for a moment: an aspirin rising and falling
then dissolving in a glass of darkness. Around them,
the hotel walls slide like a back-drop up into the night sky.

Loves drama has died down, and theyre sleeping now,
but their dreams will meet as colours meet
and bleed into each other
in the
...more
Rise
May 09, 2015 added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015


I close my eyes.
There is a silent world,
there is a crack
where the dead
are smuggled over the border.

"Midwinter"

The last lines of Tomas Tranströmer's poem "Midwinter" closed the collection The Deleted World. It ended with an eerie image of the silent world and the dead being trafficked through a crack. The poems themselves offered a silent procession of images and left the reader with an atmosphere of foreboding. The world was not the only thing deleted, but words were seemingly redacted to
...more
Billy O'Callaghan
For a number of years prior to 2011, the name of Tomas Transtromer surfaced every time an announcement was due as to who the next Nobel laureate would be. So I seemed to know of him long before I actually got to read him. And then I came across a copy of The Deleted World (an edition that had a dark wooden cross on a dusky, snow-covered landscape), and I was stunned by the beauty of the poems.
Poetry is strange kind of magic. What works for some won't necessarily work for others. But Transtromer
...more
Valerie
I read some of Tranströmer in a Swedish poet anthology, and didn't really care for his poems. I thought this book was gorgeous. This is a great example of how a bad translation can remove the life out of poems. I read about Robin Robertson's translation, and there are some stories that say Robertson distorts the original poems by adding in too much. I am going to try to find out more about this, because I enjoyed her translations in this book much more than the last translations I read.

This book
...more
Peycho Kanev
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Black Postcards

I

The calendar is full but the future is blank.
The wires hum the folk-tune of some forgotten land.
Snow-fall on the lead-still sea. Shadows
scrabble on the pier.

II

In the middle of life, death comes
to take your measurements. The visit
is forgotten and life goes on. But the suit
is being sewn on the sly.
Leslie
Jun 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this short book of poems wonderful. I loved the imagery in particular. My favorites were "Autumnal Archipelago", "The Couple", "A Winter Night", "Out in the Open" and "From March 1979" (though there were no poems that I didn't like!).
Sophia L
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Notable because it is a bilingual edition which I love.
I tried my hand at translating a poem from Swedish.
Notable because google translates version was better and somehow more literary.
...more
Hasan Makhzoum
Jun 23, 2016 rated it liked it
And that which was "I"
Is only a word
In the darkness of December's mouth


This metaphor is sublime..


My favourite poem from this mini-anthology of poems by Tranströmer is The Couple, so I have read different translations of it :
in Arabic by Adonis (his complete poetry works), in French by Jacques Outin and three different versions in English so far; by Robin Robertson, Robert Fulton and Robert Bly.. Hopefully next year in Spanish.

The different translations of the poem The Couple were very
...more
Tabish
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of Transtromer's best poetry collections.
mwpm
Jun 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
The bus negotiates the winter night:
a flickering ship in the pine forest
on a road as narrow and deep as a dead canal.

Few passengers: some old, some very young.
If it stopped and switched off its lights
the world would be deleted
- Winter's Code, V


A short, very short bilingual selection of Tranströmer's poems (15 poems to be exact). The poems are not translations but "versions" by Robin Robertson. Robertson explains in the introduction...
In his introduction to Imitations (1962), Robert Lowell
...more
Abeer Abdullah
Nov 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, sweden
Some very cold and arresting imagery that swelled up my throat on a weekend alone. Now I don't know what to do because I cant cry like the normal folks.
"What huge effort to move through this silence./
The stain of this moment spreading out forever,/
this moment's wound in its ever-widening pool."
Khitkhite Buri
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Poems for life spent indoors looking through a window. Lonely poems.

'Face to Face'
'A winters night'
'To Friends Behind a Border'
'Calling Home'
'Island Life 1860'
'From March 1979'and 'Solitude was underwhelming.
...more
CD Borden
Feb 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would have given this book three stars simply because I found it wanting (only 15 poems), but these translations--or "versions", if you will--are little gems of poetry so four stars it is.

Although a slim volume it is nonetheless an exquisite and eloquent sampler of what this Swedish poet is capable of when it comes to the written word (at least, that's what I could tell from these English renderings). Every poem captures the mood of the moment like a snapshot of frenzy ("Out in the Open"). For
...more
Sidharth Vardhan

And that which was I
is only a word
in the darkness of Decembers mouth

I am always a little skeptical of nobel laureates of Swedish origin but these poems are simply beautiful despite their pessimism. The title itself provides enough of glimpse of what is to expected from this small collection.

A darker storm stands over the world.
It puts its mouth to our soul
and blows to get a tone. We are afraid
the storm will blow us empty
*
In the middle of life, death comes
to take your measurements. The
...more
Ryan Louis
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Swedish is a beautiful language. I've never been to the country; I am no authority. But I am drawn to it. I find many of its films and writings confused as melancholic; but are actually pregnant (though subtly envisioned) with passion.

It is easy for David Fincher (erroneously) to imagine a landscape: dark, barren, mysterious, unforgiving. His eyes miss something greater. It is in Bergman that the same landscape (shot in similar light--painting a similar bleakness) enables a more vivid picture.

...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I'm never sure about reading poetry that has been translated, but these are deliberately called "versions," and the translator gives some examples where the English words can't come close to what the Swedish equivalents would have sounded like.

Tranströmer's poems are very tied to nature, and there isn't a single poem in this volume that does not have nature as a central theme, either representing itself or tying to topics like death, life, and connectivity. They are brief, but seem to leave
...more
Andrea
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary, poetry, swedish
I read this particular book of poetry through more than once in both Swedish and English. I love that the two languages are on the pages across from one another. This gives me a chance to learn Swedish with a most beautiful flow. The language of verse from a poet who is most exquisite and so breathtaking. It is not a wonder that Tomas Transtromer is considered one of the greatest living poets of our time. Here's a sample for your soul to savor :

"In the middle of life, death comes
to take your
...more
Tlc
Jul 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Just finished the English translation by Robin Robertson of Tomas Transtromer's poetry, The Deleted World. Beautiful, elegant and unexpected! Here are three lines, which positively gripped me: "A darker storm stands over the world.
It puts its mouth to our soul
and blows to get a tone. We are afraid
the storm will blow us empty." (A Winter Night)
Chris Schaeffer
May 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Lovely versions of Transtromer, but kind of misleading to call them translations. That's fine with me, but this book is awfully short for the price. I'm complaining about pedantic stuff, but hey, there are a lot of worthy Transtromer editions out now that you can pick up at more or less any bookstore you choose to visit, and while this IS good and IS a nice textural take on the guy, there are better places to dip in.
metaphor
Apr 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Throughout those dismal months my life was only sparked
alight when I made love to you.
As the firefly ignites and fades, ignites and fades, we follow
the flashes
of its flight in the dark among the olive trees.

Throughout those dismal months, my soul sat slumped and
lifeless
but my body walked to yours.
The night sky was lowing.
We milked the cosmos secretly, and survived.
Seth
May 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
In the middle of life, death comes
to take your measurements. The visit
is forgotten and life goes on. But the suit
is being sewn on the sly.
winda
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-book, nobel-prize
Out from 16 poems on this book, two poems are my favorites


THE BLACK POSTCARDS

I
The calendar is full but the future is blank.
The wires hum the folk-tune of some forgotten land.
Snow-fall on the lead-still sea.
Shadows scrabble on the pier.
    II
In the middle of life, death comes
to take your measurements.
The visit is forgotten and life goes on.
But the suit  is being sewn on the sly.


and

FIRE GRAFFITI
Throughout those dismal months my life was only sparked alight when I made love to you.
As the
...more
Jaredith Mize
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
In the middle of life, death comes
to take your measurements. The visit
is forgotten and life goes on. But the suit
is being sewn on the sly.

- Black Postcards

This collection of poetry from Swedish Nobel Laureate, Tomas Tranströmer is beautifully translated by Robin Robertson. Before reading this collection, I was unconvinced that poetry could be translated so drastically (from Swedish to English) while maintaining its beauty, impact, and intent. I dont read Swedish, so I cant speak to the intent,
...more
Henny
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Tranströmer's poems are revelatory, astonishing, like a slap in the face. I don't know how he is able to say so much, so evocatively, with so few words. However, Robertson's translations are... first of all, sort of clunky and inelegant, and secondly, pretty wide deviations from the Swedish versions. This didn't affect my (English-speaking) fella at all, obviously, but as I read the book, and looked between the Swedish pages and English pages, I kept angrily saying, "UGH. HE DIDN'T SAY THAT???" ...more
Naomi Ruth
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction, poetry, own
I picked this up cheap somewhere and I absolutely loved it. His poetry is so much more evocative, and heavy with images, and stark, in a way that current popular American poetry just isn't. (Not that this is a bad thing, but it's nice to read something so different.) While it is creepy to wake up to see the cover of this book staring at you, it is a lovely collection of poetry.
Andrew Bertaina
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Throughout those dismal months my life was only sparked alight
when I made love to you.
As the firefly ignites and fades, ignites and fades, we follow the flashes
of its flight in the dark among the olive trees."
Robin
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful poems. No extra
Don
Jun 22, 2019 added it
strong poems need reflection and rereading to fully appreciate. would like to read more of these.
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His poetry, building on Modernism, Expressionism, and Surrealism, contains powerful imagery concerned with issues of fragmentation and isolation. He has perfected a particular kind of epiphanic lyric, often in quatrains, in which nature is the active, energizing subject, and the self (if the self is present at all) is the object, notes critic Katie Peterson in the Boston Review.

Critic and poet
...more

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