Tranströmer’s Childhood Insect Collection An Exhibit At The Swedish Natural History Museums


Photo: Annica Roos 

To win the Nobel Prize is to see all things of one’s life celebrated. Even an insect collection from childhood. Thus the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm created an exhibit of Tranströmer’s boyhood insect collection. An accompanying guide book was also published  in a limited edition by Fredrik Sjöberg, an entomologist, who describes in six beautiful  essays the young Tranströmer’s forays over Runmarö island in the Stockholm archipelago, in search of all things insect, small and rare.

The essays are preceded by a citation by Charles Darwin: “It seems therefore that a taste for collecting beetles is some indication for future success in life.”

Go to Swedish Museum of Natural History

Newly Discovered Beetle Named After Tranströmer


A previously unknown beetle species has been named for poet Tomas Tranströmer. Entomologist Michael Sörensson of Lund University (Sweden) discovered the beetle and named it after Tranströmer as a tribute to the poet. It was announced in conjunction with the celebration of the poet’s 80th birthday.

 The species named Mordellistena transtroemeriana (Poet’s Towers Ram) was discovered in Gotland, Sweden’s largest island and the largest island in the Baltic Sea, and is so far only known in two types. The new species is between 5 and 6 millimeters long. Its habits are still unknown, but Mikael Sörensson is planning an expedition to the island of Gotland to further investigate the new species.

Nobel Prize: A physicist and a poet expand our universe

The year’s Nobel Prize winners in physics and literature both change the way we think

October 16, 2011|By Michael Corbin
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I told some friends that Tomas Tranströmer had won the Nobel Prize. Some responded, “Who?” and others said that it was cool that someone in Baltimore had won the Nobel.

This latter group, of course, had heard the local hubbub and were thinking about Adam Riess at the Johns Hopkins University, who (along with two other physicists) was awarded the Nobel in physics for showing that the universe is still expanding. Mr. Riess was able to infer this by observing close by and further away supernovae. And contrary to the expectation of universe observers who thought that the cosmos would be slowing down by now, so long after the big bang, Mr. Riess showed that the expansion of the universe is actually speeding up. Who knew?

The Nobel Prize confers a strange kind of celebrity, particularly in America, where celebrity attainment and study are an exact, natural science. Something is a little mushy in the criteria for that Nobel Prize award though, from the vantage point of America. They even gave one to Barack Obama, didn’t they? I think a lot of people had the same hope for the Obama presidency: bending the universe toward justice.

I started reading Mr. Tranströmer about 25 years ago. The publisher New Directions had brought him out in translation from his native Swedish, and I had found a dusty copy in a used book shop in Washington, D.C., when I thought poetry was the something that could effect the expansion or contraction of the universe. His poems seemed to me like a truth about our time, like Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot,” but allowing for something more beautiful, pleasurable, possible, while we wait.

Read the full article at The Baltimore Sun