So, who were our twenty poets awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature? And why were they particularly chosen? Contemporary working poets might want to dwell upon this list and its rationale. My quotes are taken verbatim from The Nobel Prize Internet Archive: http:// nobelprizes.com/literature/
2011 - Thomas Transtromer "because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality."
1996 - Wislawa Szymborska "for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality."
1995 - Seamus Heaney "for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past."
1992 - Derek Walcott - "poetic ouevre of great luminosity, historical vision"
1984 - Jaroslav Seifert -"poetry of rich inventiveness", liberating images of "indomitable spirit and versatility of man."
1979 - Odysseus Elytis - man's struggle for freedom
1977 - Vicente Aleixandre - man's condition in the cosmos and the renewal of Spanish poetry between wars
1975 - Eugenio Montale - "interpreted human values under the sign of an outlook on life with no illusions."
1959 - Salvatore Quasimodo - lyric poetry, "classical fire", expresses the "tragic experience of life in our own times."
1958 - Boris Leonidovich Pasternak - lyric poetry in the Russian epic tradition (his country declined the prize)
1956 Juan Ramon Jimenez - lyric poetry of "high spirit and artistic purity."
1948 - Thomas Stearns Eliot - "outstanding pioneer contribution to present-day poetry."
1945 - Gabriela Mistral - lyric poetry "inspired by powerful emotions" making her name a symbol "of the entire Latin American world."
1944 - Johannes Vilhelm Jensen - poetic imagination, bold freshly creative style
1931 - Erik Axel Karlfeldt - poetry
1923 - William Butler Yeats - "inspired poetry, artistic form, gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation."
1917 - Karl Adolph Gjellerup - "varied and rich poetry, inspired lofty ideals"
1904 - Federic Mistral - "fresh originality" reflects the "natural scenery and native spirit of his people."
1903 - Bjornstjerne Martinus Bjornson - "noble, magnificent and versatile poetry, fresh and pure of spirit."
That's it - our 20 Nobel Awards for Poetry on planet Earth.. How many are still read widely today? Enough, probably. Is there any message here?
I am re-activating this blog. I plan to continue reviewing poetry, and discussing other topics. I appreciate any comments, of course.