The Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer wins the Nobel Prize in Literature 2011! For so many years Sweden have waited for this to happen and this year as many previous years the media was waiting outside his home, in case he would finally get the prize. And he did get it!
I haven't really read that much of Tranströmer, but I really like Sorgegondolen (Sorrow Gondola) from 1996, partly inspired by Franz Liszt's "Lugubre Gondola No. 2", which Liszt composed during a visit with his daughter Cosima and her husband Richard Wagner in Venice. I actually read this suite again just a few weeks ago, and it was still on my bedside table along with a bunch of other books when the winner was announced.
Sorgegondolen was the first collection of poems Tranströmer completed after a debilitating stroke in 1990. Half of the poems are written before the stroke and half of them after. The collection is not all about Liszt and Wagner, but the poets about them are my favorites, the suite is called Sorgegondol nr 2. This is one of the poems from that suit:
|Photo: Ulla Montan|
"Klaveret som har tigit genom hela Parsifal (men lyssnat)
får äntligen säga något.
När Liszt spelar i kväll håller han havspedalen nertryckt
så att havets gröna kraft stiger upp genom golvet och flyter
samman med all sten i byggnaden.
Godafton vackra djup!
Gondolen är tungt lastad med liv, den är enkel och svart."
"The clavier, which kept silent through all of Parsifal (but listened), finally has something to say.
Sighs . . . sospiri . . .
When Liszt plays tonight he holds the sea-pedal pressed down
so the ocean’s green force rises up through the floor and flows together
with all the stone in the building.
Good evening, beautiful deep!
The gondola is heavy-laden with life, it is simple and black."
I found the English translation here, where you can also read more about Sorrow Gondola. This and many other of Tranströmer's collection of poems are transleted into English and many other languages.
My daily dose of quirkiness, of course including reading today: