translated from the Swedish by Michael McGriff with Mikaela Grassl
The sun emerges from behind the house
stands in the middle of the street
and breathes on us
with its red wind.
Innsbrück I must leave you.
But tomorrow there will be a glowing sun
in the grey, half-dead forest
where we must work and live.
Tomas Tranströmer was born in Stockholm in 1931. A translator, psychologist, entomologist, and classical pianist, he has become the most influential and revered Swedish poet of his generation. He is the author of twelve full-length collections of poetry, most recently Den stora gåtan (The Great Enigma) in 2004. Tranströmer’s books have appeared in hundreds of editions in over fifty languages. Among his many honors are Germany’s Petrarch Prize, the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, the Bellman Prize, the Bonnier Award for Poetry, and the Swedish Academy’s Nordic Prize. In 2008 Green Integer will release his book The Sorrow Gondola, translated by Michael McGriff with Mikaela Grassl. Tranströmer lives with his wife Monica in Stockholm.
Michael McGriff is a former Michener Fellow at the University of Texas and a current Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. His translation of Tomas Tranströmer's The Sorrow Gondola is forthcoming from Green Integer Books in 2008. His poems and translations have recently appeared in Poetry, Crazyhorse, FIELD, and Northwest Review.
Mikaela Grassl was born and raised in Sunne, Sweden. She is a graduate of the Torsby Ski Academy (Sweden) and is currently a member of the University of Utah Alpine Ski Team. She is a degree candidate at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City. (4/2007)