Answers to Letters Criticism

Tomas Tranströmer
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Swedish critics initially associated Tranströmer with the high modernist "formalist" tradition characteristic of his generation. The poet never strictly conformed to this description; his work changed drastically over time, he engaged in numerous experiments in form, and many critics, including Urban Torhamn, have acknowledged his connection to the Surrealist movement. But Tranströmer was nevertheless associated with formalism, particularly when, in the 1960s, a young and radical generation were fiercely advocating a politicized and direct poetic style. As Joanna Bankier notes in her Dictionary of Literary Biography entry on the poet, during this time of change, "critics took issue with Tranströmer's craftsmanship and formal restraint."

This stigma remained with Tranströmer for many years, although in the United States, due particularly to Robert Bly's championing, he retained a prestigious reputation as an innovative and liberal poet. Describing why the younger Swedish generation...

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This section contains 309 words
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Poetry for Students
Answers to Letters from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.