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A secular prayer

October 8, 2011

The Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer received this year’s Nobel Prize in literature. A great choice, although I was surprised he was already translated into so many languages (some 50). Translating a minimalistic poet must be terribly difficult. The translator needs to know both languages since childhood to get the nuances. I can not tell how good these translations are, because although I can read an English restaurant menu, I am not sure if I could understand feelings subtly embedded in English poetry.

In many cases Tomas’s poetry is a non-religious love and feeling for nature, shared by many Swedes including myself, and by some westerners, but maybe totally weird to other cultures? I should be happy if the Dokmai Dogma readers could suggest any translation of a Thai nature poet? I would only pay attention to a good one, not somebody who describes colours, but somebody who can describe feelings, admiration, care?

Embroidery by Anne-Marie Körling

Eric Danell


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