Cover image for The half-finished heaven : the best poems of Tomas Tranströmer
The half-finished heaven : the best poems of Tomas Tranströmer
Tranströmer, Tomas, 1931-2015.
Uniform Title:
Poems. Selections. English
Publication Information:
Saint Paul, Minn. : Graywolf Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
xxi, 97 pages ; 23 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PT9876.3.R3 A23 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PT9876.3.R3 A23 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
PT9876.3.R3 A23 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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From the Winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature

The contemporary Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer is a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature and has a prestigious worldwide reputation. Robert Bly, a longtime friend and confidant of Tranströmer's, as well as one of his first translators, has carefully chosen and translated the finest of Tranströmer's poems to create this cherished and invaluable collection.


Introduction: "Upward into the Depths" by Robert Bly

17 Poems (1954)
Secrets on the Road (1958)
The Half-Finished Heaven (1962)

The Man Awakened by a Song above His Roof
After the Attack
Balakirev's Dream (1905)
The Couple
The Tree and the Sky
A Winter Night
Dark Shape Swimming
The Half-Finished Heaven

Resonance and Footprints (1966)
Night Vision (1970)

Open and Closed Space
From an African Diary
Morning Bird Songs
Summer Grass
About History
After a Death
Under Pressure
Slow Music
Out in the Open
Breathing Space July
The Open Window
The Bookcase
Going with the Current
Night Duty
A Few Moments
The Name
Standing Up

Pathways (1973)
Truth Barriers (1978)

The Scattered Congregation
Snow-Melting Time, '66
Further In
Late May
December Evening, '72
Seeing through the Ground
Guard Duty
Along the Lines (Far North)
At Funchal (Island of Madeira)
Calling Home
For Mats and Laila
After a Long Dry Spell
A Place in the Woods
Street Crossing
Below Freezing
Start of a Late Autumn Novel
From the Winter of 1947
The Clearing

The Wild Market Square (1983)
For the Living and the Dead (1989)
Grief Gondola (1996)

From March '79
Fire Script
Black Postcards
Romanesque Arches
The Forgotten Commander
The Cuckoo
The Kingdom of Uncertainty
Three Stanzas
Two Cities
Island Life, 1860
April and Silence
Grief Gondola #2

Author Notes

Tomas Tranströmer was born in Stockholm, Sweden on April 15, 1931. He was 23 years old when his debut work, Seventeen Poems, was published in 1954. He graduated from Stockholm University in 1956 and became a psychologist. He worked in state institutions with juvenile offenders, parole violators, and the disabled. He wrote more than 15 books during his lifetime including The Sorrow Gondola, The Half-Finished Heaven: The Best Poems of Tomas Tranströmer, Airmail: The Letters of Robert Bly and Tomas Tranströmer, Memories Look at Me, The Deleted World, and The Great Enigma: New and Collected Poems. He won numerous awards including the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, the Oevralids Prize, the Swedish Award from International Poetry Forum, the Lifetime Recognition Award given by the trustees of the Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry in 2007, and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2011. He died on March 26, 2015 at the age of 83.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Mystical, versatile and sad, the poems (in verse and prose) of Tomas Transtromer have made him Sweden's best-known living writer. Robert Bly (Eating the Honey of Words, etc.) has long championed Transtr?mer; his latest effort in this line is The Half-Finished Heaven: The Best Poems of Tomas Transtr?mer. Here are the dream and nightmare images that influenced U.S. poetry in the '60s, where "Moths settle down on the pane:/ small pale telegrams from the world." Here, too, are the brief, haunting works of more recent years: "I am carried inside/ my own shadow like a violin/ in its black case." (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Robert Bly
Introduction: "Upward into the Depths"p. ix
1 from 17 Poems (1954)/Secrets on the Road (1958)/The Half-Finished Heaven (1962)
Evening--Morningp. 3
Stormp. 4
The Man Awakened by a Song above His Roofp. 5
Trackp. 6
Kyriep. 7
After the Attackp. 8
Balakirev's Dream (1905)p. 9
The Couplep. 11
Allegrop. 12
Lamentop. 13
The Tree and the Skyp. 14
A Winter Nightp. 15
Dark Shape Swimmingp. 16
The Half-Finished Heavenp. 17
Nocturnep. 18
2 from Resonance and Footprints (1966)/Night Vision (1970)
Open and Closed Spacep. 21
From an African Diary (1963)p. 22
Morning Bird Songsp. 23
Summer Grassp. 25
About Historyp. 26
After a Deathp. 28
Under Pressurep. 29
Slow Musicp. 30
Out in the Openp. 31
Solitudep. 33
Breathing Space Julyp. 35
The Open Windowp. 36
Preludesp. 38
The Bookcasep. 40
Outskirtsp. 41
Going with the Currentp. 42
Trafficp. 44
Night Dutyp. 46
A Few Momentsp. 47
The Namep. 48
Standing Upp. 49
3 from Pathways (1973)/Truth Barriers (1978)
Elegyp. 53
The Scattered Congregationp. 54
Snow-Melting Time, '66p. 55
Further Inp. 56
Late Mayp. 57
December Evening, '72p. 58
Seeing through the Groundp. 59
Guard Dutyp. 60
Along the Lines (Far North)p. 62
At Funchal (Island of Madeira)p. 64
Calling Homep. 65
Citoyensp. 66
For Mats and Lailap. 67
After a Long Dry Spellp. 69
A Place in the Woodsp. 70
Street Crossingp. 71
Below Freezingp. 72
Start of a Late Autumn Novelp. 73
From the Winter of 1947p. 74
The Clearingp. 75
Schubertianap. 76
4 from The Wild Market Square (1983)/For the Living and the Dead (1989)/Grief Gondola (1996)
From March '79p. 81
Fire Scriptp. 82
Black Postcardsp. 83
Romanesque Archesp. 84
The Forgotten Commanderp. 85
Vermeerp. 87
The Cuckoop. 89
The Kingdom of Uncertaintyp. 90
Three Stanzasp. 91
Two Citiesp. 92
Island Life, 1860p. 93
April and Silencep. 94
Grief Gondola #2p. 95