ISBN-10: 1941411215
ISBN-13: 9781941411216
Publisher: Sarabande Books
Publish Date: 11/17/2015
Dimensions: 9.10" L, 6.60" W, 0.70" H

Bright Scythe: Selected Poems by Tomas Tranströmer

Introduction by: David Wojahn
Translator: Patty Crane


Price: $17.95


Tomas Tranströmer (1931-2015), winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, is Sweden’s most acclaimed poet. Known for sharp imagery, startling metaphors and deceptively simple diction, his luminous poems offer mysterious glimpses into the deepest facets of humanity, often through the lens of the natural world. These new translations by Patty Crane, presented side by side with the original Swedish, are tautly rendered and elegantly cadenced. They are also deeply informed by Crane’s personal relationship with the poet and his wife during the years she lived in Sweden, where she was afforded greater insight into the nuances of his poetics and the man himself.

Read More
A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
A Los Angeles Times Fabulous Holiday Book

"Crane's verse sounds good in English, and it comes with facing-page Swedish.... Her Tranströmer wants to be heard: "If I could at least get them to feel," he writes, "that this trembling beneath us/ means we're on a bridge." Readers who know earlier versions, or who know Swedish, will want to contrast these versions with what they know; readers new to Tranströmer should bundle up and dive in."
Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Immediate, bodily...vivid...full of intent and personality. To my ear, Crane has so far made the best English version of Tran-strömer....Tran-strömer's poetry is concerned with precisely how little we're able to really see, yet how much that little is worth. His is a tense, taut music, easier to hear in Crane's slightly relaxed interpretation."
The New York Times Book Review

"Reading this poem, a translation from its original Swedish, I was reminded of that childhood wonder and felt again the heft of so many truths waiting to be known."
–Natasha Trethewey, New York Times Magazine

"Sometimes a new piece of shared cultural heritage seems to click into place; the appearance of Bright Scythe–selected poems by Swedish Nobel laureate Tomas Tranströmer, translated by Patty Crane–feels like such an occasion. These poems are adamantly delicate parcels of offhand eternity, dwelling in a space few have inhabited usefully in any sustained way....If, as Borges says, "poetry springs from something deeper," then these poems are leaded windows and fine-hewn doors ajar into that fathoming–rendered in "glass-clear" translations–and a lasting tribute to the poet's passing earlier this year. "
World Literature Today

"Quietly revelatory...Between his own words and Crane's warm remembrances of her time with the Tranströmers, this book acts as a kind of shadow biography of the poet. It's a haunting, mysterious, but ultimately warm and humanistic work, and a welcome introduction both to Tranströmer's poetry and in the debates over how best to translate it into another tongue."

"Patty [Crane]'s book has such transparency and illumination and candor.... For me, this is the finest translation since Bly's."
–Teju Cole

"For those of you who missed out on the Nobel Prize-winning poet Tranströmer, who died last year, Bright Scythe–with its lively translation by Patty Crane (who worked with the poet)–is the place to start."
–Flavorwire, "Ten Must-Read Books for November 2015"

"Bright Scythe, a collection of [Tranströmer's] work newly translated from the Swedish by Patty Crane, is a literary panorama with work from 1954 to 2004, and deftly traces the poet's quiet interrogation with life's phenomena.... Crane, whose work presents the original jagged Swedish on the opposite page of her translations, stays close to the source. She measures with finesse each syllable and simile."
–Electric Literature

"Bright Scythe is an invaluable contribution to our understanding of Tranströmer's concise and penetrating body of work."
The Cafe Review

More Reviews


ISBN-10: 1941411215
ISBN-13: 9781941411216
Publisher: Sarabande Books
Publish Date: 11/17/2015
Dimensions: 9.10" L, 6.60" W, 0.70" H
Skip to content