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The Half-Finished Heaven

Selected Poems
Tomas Tranströmer, selected and translated from the Swedish by Robert Bly
Every person is a half-open door
leading to a room for everyone.
The endless field under us.
Water glitters between the trees.
The lake is a window into the earth.
—from “The Half-Finished Heaven”
Tomas Tranströmer’s celebrated career earned him a place among the twentieth century’s essential global voices. Translated into more than fifty languages, his poetry draws readers to its power and resonance, its shaping of landscapes both outer and interior, stark and yet alive to the luminous. In 2011, Tranströmer was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality.”
National Book Award-winning poet and renowned translator Robert Bly first introduced American readers to Tranströmer’s poetry in his seminal English translations, all of which are collected here for the first time in this expanded edition. With an updated introduction and fourteen additional poems, The Half-Finished Heaven presents the best of Tranströmer’s poetry in one indispensable volume.        

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An expanded edition by Nobel laureate Tomas Tranströmer, translated by award-winning poet Robert Bly

About the Author

Tomas  Transtromer
Credit: Monica Tranströmer
Tomas Tranströmer was born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1931, and spent his career as a psychologist. The author of a dozen books of poetry including The Half-Finished Heaven: New and Selected Poems, Tranströmer is the most renowned Scandinavian Poet since World War II. In 2011, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature. He lived in Stockholm until his death in 2015.
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Robert  Bly
Credit: Monica Tranströmer
Robert Bly was born in Minnesota in 1926. He is a poet, translator, essayist, and cultural critic. He is the author of Eating the Honey of Words: New and Selected Poems and The Light Around the Body, which received the National Book Award. He has translated the works of such poets as Pablo Neruda, Georg Trakl, Tomas Tranströmer, and others. He lives in Minneapolis.
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  • “To read [The Half-Finished Heaven] in 2017 is like seeing the after-image of a great work. . . . Eerie and beautiful and a little bit sad.”—John Freeman, Literary Hub
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