Literary Birthday – 15 April – Tomas Tranströmer

Tomas Tranströmer was born 15 April 1931, and died 26 March 2015.

Tomas Tranströmer Quotes

  1. 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.
  2. Don’t be ashamed because you’re human: be proud! Inside you, vaults behind vaults open endlessly. You will never be finished, and that’s as it should be.
  3. We are at a party that doesn’t love us.
  4. A person shows himself for an instant as in a photograph but clearer and in the background something which is bigger than his shadow.
  5. We always feel younger than we are. I carry inside myself my earlier faces, as a tree contains its rings. The sum of them is me. The mirror sees only my latest face, while I know all my previous ones.
  6. Tired of all who come with words, words but no language, l went to the snow-covered island. The wild does not have words. The unwritten pages spread out on all sides! I come upon the tracks of roe deer in the snow. Language but no words.
  7. The small things I love, have they any weight?

Tomas Tranströmer was a Swedish poet, psychologist and translator. His poetry has been translated into over 60 languages. He was the winner of the 1990 Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature. His poetry is available in The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems.

Source for Image: Andrei Romanenko, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 15th April 2014