Poetry Salon with Claire Keyes Featuring the Work of Tomas Transtromer

Poetry Salon with Claire Keyes Featuring the Work of Tomas Transtromer

To attend via Zoom, please register in advance for this meeting here. No registration required for in-person attendance. 

On Thursday March 16 from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm, the Poetry Salon will gather at Abbot Public Library for a discussion of the poetry of Tomas Tranströmer, the Swedish poet who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2011. Tranströmer grew up in Stockholm and studied the history of literature and other subjects at Stockholm University College, with the goal of becoming a psychologist. He married and had two daughters. In 1990 he suffered a stroke that severely limited his ability to speak and that has also influenced his writing. His later poems have taken on a shorter, even more concentrated format as a result. 

One of poetry’s strangest powers is its ability to draw out the great and wonderful from the mundane. Tomas Tranströmer has this ability. Since his writing debut in the 1950s, Tranströmer’s poetry has been characterized by its “everyday roots,” and a striving after simplicity that allows room for its reader to marvel and to concentrate. His poems are marked by rich, keen, and original imagery. Two of Tranströmer’s greatest interests, nature and music, have also left deep impressions on his writing. His work has been translated into more than fifty languages and his appeal is wide. Some readers have said that his poems are accessible, and so they are – but only up to a point: there are dark currents beneath the surface, and some of his later works are enigmatic. Others admire the way in which they surprise us even after repeated readings, as if they don’t get “used up.” Others are entranced by his metaphors, which often make us see ordinary things not necessarily in a new light, but in a light that we had not noticed before. Tranströmer was also a respected psychologist and worked at a juvenile prison, as well as with the disabled, convicts, and those struggling with addiction.

Please join Claire Keyes, Professor Emerita at Salem State University, on Thursday March 16 from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm for a discussion of Tranströmer’s poetry. We will meet at Abbot Public Library at 3 Brook Road. Zoom attendance is also offered. To attend via Zoom, please register in advance for this meeting here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. All are welcome. 

Poetry packets are available near the library’s Main Desk and online here: March 2023 Poetry Packets – Tomas Tranströmer

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