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Saturday, May 14, 2005

Transtromer

Where have I been? I have this little book of Transtromer's translated by Robert Bly. It's been sitting on my shelf for years, and the last time I remember opening it, it was impenetrable and dull, an unforgivable combination. I suppose I was just impenetrable and dull that day, because today I opened it in desperation to read some kind of poetry with something that sparks, and --- top-of-head-blowing-off.

Bly's translations seem a bit breathily effusive, but interesting. Graywolf has a book of his, The Half-Finished Heaven. I'm going to get more by this wonderful poet. His imagery blows the language open, speaks in transformations and interior luminosities. "Mystical and sad," per Publishers Weekly; "Poems that are points of entry upward/into the depths of imagination" said the New York Times.

Where have I been? Has anyone else had this experience of suddenly "discovering" a poet who was right there in plain sight?