Quite a remarkable surprise awaits poetry lovers following the announcement of Tomas Transtromer as winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2011, coming ahead of, among other nominees, the poet Adonis. The surprise is that Adonis helped to introduce Transtromer to the Arabic reader, accompanying him on his readings across the Arab World. The last such event was in Damascas five years ago on the occasion of the publication of the Complete Works of Transtromer by Bedayat publishing house and translated by the Iraqi Kassem Hamady.
Adonis introduced this translation by stating that “Transtromer tries to present his human state in poetry, with poetry as the art revealing the situation. While his roots are deep into the land of poetry, with its classical, symbolic and rhythmic aspects, yet he cannot be classified as belonging to one school; he’s one and many, allowing us to observe through his poetry the seen and unseen in one mix creating his poetry, as if its essence is that of the flower of the world.”
It is interesting to note that Transtromer wrote a special introduction to the Arabic edition, in which he wrote that “Translating to a foreign language is another attempt to achieve reality to the original poem.” This translation was the first for the Swedish poet.