Seminar on Nobel Laureate Tomas Tranströmer

Caption: Professor Kajal Bandyopadhya presents a paper at the seminar.
Thursday, February 16th, 2017

Professor Kajal Bandyopadhya presents a paper at the seminar.


The Dhaka University Centre for Advanced Research in Humanities recently organised a seminar on Tomas Tranströmer’s poetry at the Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban.


The Swedish Ambassador in Dhaka Johan Frisell attended it as the chief guest. Poet Anisur Rahaman presented the keynote paper.  The Swedish poet Kristian Carlsson and Bangladeshi poet Muhammad Samad were discussants. Professor Kajal Bandyopadhya, Department of English, University of Dhaka presided over the discussion. Mehedi Karim Shimanto anchored the seminar. “No seat in the auditorium was free,” the Swedish ambassador commented referring to the appeal of the seminar.


Tomas Tranströmer grew up in Stockholm, where his mother was a teacher. After studying the history of literature and other subjects at Stockholm University College, he studied to become a psychologist. Apart from his authorship, he has also worked as a psychologist at the Labour Market Institute in Västerås, Sweden, among other places. Tomas Tranströmer suffered a stroke in 1990 that severely limited his ability to speak and that has also influenced his writing. His later poems have taken on a shorter, even more concentrated format as a result. He has two daughters.


One of poetry’s strangest powers is its ability to draw out the great and wonderful from the mundane. Tomas Tranströmer has this ability in spades. Since his writing debut in the 1950s, his poetry has been characterised by its “everyday roots”, and a striving after simplicity that allows room for its reader to marvel and to concentrate. His poems are marked by rich, keen and original imagery. Two of Tomas Tranströmer’s greatest interests, nature and music, have also left deep impressions on his writing.

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