deleted world

The Deleted World

Free versions of poems by Tomas Tranströmer

Enitharmon Press, 2006
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, New York, 2011
Anansi, Toronto, 2011

Shortlisted for the Corneliu M. Popescu Prize for European Poetry Translation.


‘He has captured the tone of the oeuvre in the poem, and the work, as a whole, shows his meticulous use of language which conveys the poet’s thought subtly and faultlessly… This wonderful book has much to teach other translators in its immense concentration and daring accuracy.’
Anne Born, Swedish Book Review

‘Robertson’s versions of Tranströmer propose evidence of a private passion, the homage of one of our major poets to an international writer whose work has clearly influenced his own… Robertson’s versions have that finely-living detail within their language which makes them read like original poems.  In “Sketch in October”, “The tugboat is freckled with rust.”  It’s a delicacy and accuracy of observation which is in the original’s “fräknig”; but must be reconstructed in English, helped by a painstaking ear for the common roots of the languages… required reading for anyone with an interest in contemporary poetry.’
Fiona Sampson, Tower Poetry

‘Marvellous Tranströmer versions…honourable, lyrically rich and deeply sympathetic.’
John Burnside

‘A sensuous and concrete poet himself, Robin Robertson does a fine job of creating versions of Tranströmer that stand on their own as poems in English. They are deftly musical, with phrases ringing in the ear after the page is turned… he has given us a gift in English, and one for which I, for one, will remain grateful. This strikes me as one of Tranströmer’s strongest collections, and we’re lucky that Robertson has taken to it so keenly, adjusting his own ear to the ear of the target poems, taking deep soundings in their chilly depths.’
Jay Parini, Poetry Review

‘The present, bilingual volume with its insightful introduction is more than welcome, especially since the translations by the Scottish poet Robin Robertson are nothing but marvellous with regard to the poignant imagery and supple rhythm of the texts.’
Sven Hakon Rossel, World Literature Today