Swedish Poet Tomas Tranströmer Dies At 83

Fact checked

Tomas Tranströmer the Noble prize winning Swedish poet died Thursday, aged 83.

“I am still the place where creation does some work on itself”

-Tomas Tranströmer

Tranströmer had a stroke in 1990 which left him semi disabled. The Swedish poet lost the use of his speech but continued to write poetry, completing at least five new works, including his memoirs. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2011. Tomas managed to play the piano with his left hand and did recitals in various European venues.


“A person shows himself for an instant as in a photograph but clearer and in the background something which is bigger than his shadow”

-Tomas Tranströmer

RTE reports:

Born in 1931 in Stockholm to a school-teacher mother and journalist father, Tranströmer spent childhood summers on Runmarö Island in the Stockholm archipelago. These holidays fed later poems and the nostalgic spirit which informed his 1993 memoir Minnena ser mig (The Memories See Me).

He studied literary history, history of religion and psychology at Stokholm University. The poet joined the staff of the Institution for Psychometrics at Stockholm University in 1957.

In the 1960s, Tranströmer worked as a psychologist at a youth correctional facility. He spent most of his working life working in psychiatry.

Tranströmer was also a highly-respected, entomologist and literary translator. His work is translated into over 60 languages.

He was the ninth Swedish winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

A collection entitled Inspired Notes, which features translations into English from the original Swedish by Irish poet John F Deane, appeared in 2011 from Dedalus Press.