On November 11th, 2011, TCG Nordica held a special event in honor of its namesake, the great Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer. Tranströmer was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature this week in recognition of lifelong contributions to world poetry. The Nobel Prize commission wrote of him, “through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality”.
In a candlelit corner of the stage, 40 guests and supporters of TCG Nordica gathered to reflect on Tranströmer’s poetry and his unique connect with the cultural center. Select poems of his were read in three languages with the accompaniment of Chinese traditional instrument Er Hu played by Ms. Huang Shan. Martin Berggren improvised a piano tribute to Tranströmer using only his left hand, in recognition of the fact that even the stroke which paralyzed the right side of the Tranströmer’s body could not weaken his deep affection for the piano.
Anna Mellergård, who cofounded TCG Nordica with Wu Yuerong was also present at the event via a Skype connection. She explained that when TCG Nordica was founded in 2000, Anna Mellergård and Wu Yuerong asked Tranströmer if they could use his name for their new cultural center, and he responded that he would be honored. Then, in 2001, Tranströmer decided, on his own initiative, that he would personally visit TCG Nordica to celebrate the publishing of a Chinese translation of his works. TCG Nordica was honored to receive him, and his visit made ripples throughout the Yunnan poetry world.
Those gathered concluded the evening by wishing Tranströmer congratulations on winning the Nobel Prize for Literature. His writing has reached across national boundaries to touch the lives of those living in Yunnan, and we hope that with this small ceremony it may be possible to reach him as well, and thank him for his contributions as one of the 20th century’s finest poets.