Sannel Larson

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tomas Tranströmer - The Poet

At the moment I'm in the midst of reading “Selected Poems” by the Swedish poet and the winner of the Nobel Prize, Tomas Tranströmer. I have wanted to read this poet's work for so long, but never had the chance until now.This is one of those books I know, I'll never be finished reading. Not because it's no good, but because this book is endless reading. Page after page provides a fascinating glimpse into the mind of a fascinating poet. There is so much to discover within the poems of this Swedish writer, and I need to read his works over and over again, to be able to soak up everything he has to offer.Tranströmer takes you through so many emotions just with a few chosen words.There are few writers/poets who have that gift. This book will always hold a special place in my heart, as well as a special place on my nightstand.

Can be purchased at Amazon

Can be purchased at Amazon

The Half-Finished Heaven
Tomas Tranströmer

Despondency breaks off its course.
Anguish breaks off its course.
The vulture breaks off its flight.

The eager light streams out,
even the ghosts take a draught.

And our paintings see daylight,
our red beasts of the ice-age studios.

Everything begins to look around.
We walk in the sun in hundreds.

Each man is a half-open door
leading to a room for everyone.

The endless ground under us.

The water is shining among the trees.

The lake is a window into the earth.

Tomas Tranströmer

Tomas Gösta Tranströmer (Known to the world as author, Tomas Tranströmer) is a Swedish leading and most influential contemporary poet, psychologist and translator. Born 15 April 1931, in Stockholm. Tranströmer is very well known in his homeland Sweden, and is acclaimed as one of the most important Scandinavian writers since the Second World War. His books sell thousands of copies in Sweden. Besides being a brilliant writer, he also has a successful career as a respected psychologist behind him. Tranströmer is also known as a skilled literary translator, entomologist, and classical pianist.

Tomas Tranströmer 

Tomas Tranströmer is recently known for being awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature. He has now become the eight Swedish winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. However, he is no stranger to awards. He has already collected the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, the Bonnier Award for Poetry, the Golden Wreath of the Struga Poetry Evenings, the Petrarch-Preis in Germany, Swedish Academy’s Nordic Prize, the Oevralids Prize, and the Swedish Award from International Poetry Forum. In 2007, Tomas Tranströmer received a special Lifetime Recognition Award given by the trustees of the Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry, which also awards the annual Griffin Poetry Prize.

Early life
Tranströmer was born to Gösta and Helmy Tranströmer. The father was a journalist and the mother a schoolteacher. At the age of three, the parents divorced and left the young boy with a strong void of a father figure in his life. As a student he received his secondary education at the Södra Latin School in Stockholm, where his interest for poetry started.

Tranströmer spent much of his childhood summers on Runmarö Island, a small Island in the Stockholm archipelago. Those summers and that landscape became the birth for his nostalgic and the aesthetic tradition of Swedish nature poems, Östersjöar (1974 ) Baltics (1975) and his memoir Minnena ser mig (1993 ) (The memories see me).

Tomas Tranströmer artistic talents showed early on in his life. As a child he started to play piano and beside the poetry it became another passion of his. Besides selected poems published in journals, his literary debut took place at the early age of 23. In 1954 this talented young man published his first collection of poems. 17 dikter (17 poems.) It has been considered one of the most acclaimed literary debuts of that decade.

The young man continued his education at Stockholm's University, graduating as a psychologist, with additional studies in literature, religion and history. After he graduated, he started to work in 1957, at the Institution for Psychometric at Stockholm University. In 1960, he was employed as a psychologist at the Roxtuna center for juvenile offenders. He worked there for six years while he continued to write poetry.

In 1958, he married Monica Blach, and has raised two daughters. In 1965, Tranströmer moved with his family to Västerås, one of the oldest cities in Sweden, located on the shore of Lake Mälaren where he spent the rest of his working life.

Birds in human shape.
The apple trees in blossom.
The great enigma.

~Tomas Tranströmer~

Tomas Tranströmer's Poetry
This poet's work is distinguished by a sense of mystery and unseen, underlying the routine of everyday life. He explores the connections between the visible and the invisible, the realms of the conscious and subconscious. A quality which often gives his poems a religious dimension. He has therefore been labeled as a Christian poet. Much of Tranströmer's poetry captures the world from a greater height along with the atmospheric beauty of the long harsh Swedish winters and the Swedish seasons along with its nature.

Tranströmer's most notable works are Klanger och spår (Windows and Stones) and Den stora gåtan (The Great Enigma.)

His poetry has been translated into over 60 languages and critics have held his poetry in high regard for its accessibility in the translations.

His longtime friendship with the American poet and author Robert Bly has made a big impact in the Swedish poet's life. The two poet's works are often read in conjunction. The American poet has also translated and edited some of Tranströmer's work. It was Robert Bly who first introducing his friend's work to the United States in 1960, and their of more 25 years of correspondence has been published in the book 'Air Mail.'

Can be purchased at Amazon

In 1990, a year after the publication of his tenth book of poems, he suffered a debilitating stroke that paralyzed the right side of his body and affected his speech. Despite this, he hasn't let his paralysis stop him. In 1996, he published his collection, Sorgegondolen (Grief Gondola). The poet continues to write, producing over five new works since his stroke, including his memoirs. After his stroke he has remarkably trained himself to play the piano with his left hand. Tranströmer has developed into a proficient pianist and often performs one handed piano concerts in Sweden and throughout Europe.

Kindle Edition- The Great Enigma Can be Purchased at Amazon

An excerpt from "Face to Face

In February living stood still.
The birds flew unwillingly and the soul
chafed against the landscape as a boat
chafes against the pier it lies moored to.

~Tomas Tranströmer~

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Reader's Favorite Gave a Five-Star Review for Melvin!

Melvin. . . Bad, bad kitten!
Sannel Larson

Received a Five-Star Review 

Reader's Favorite

34 Pages
Reviewed on 09/17/2013
Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite

Book Review:

Melvin. . . Bad, bad kitten! by Sannel Larson is an absolutely delightful book about the antics of Melvin the cat. The book is adorable and will remind you of the antics of the pets you have at home. You will start looking them in a different light after reading this amusing book. All pets have an identity of their own and Melvin has his. The author has written it in a very silly manner with some rhyming verses that will appeal to small children. Melvin is a naughty kitten that makes children laugh with his behavior.

It's a beautiful book of verses which the author has penned, keeping in mind the youthful audience. Children love to read anything silly and light and the author has written just that with Melvin, the cat, as the main character of the book. The illustrations are really cute. I found the illustration with the strawberry nose hilarious. The illustrator has also created something that is so appealing to a child.

The author's love for children is evident in the book. It is one of the cutest cat stories/verses I have read in recent times. It is so difficult to say what I liked most about the book. Everything is so appealing and cuddly. Kids are also introduced to rhyming verses in a very subtle way, getting them into reading verses and trying to write or recite small rhyming poems. Absolutely delightful and a treat for young readers.

Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite

Friday, September 6, 2013

Richard Stephen - Is no Poetic Fool - But a Poetic Whiz

Richard Stephen - Poet, Photographer and Published Author 

As a fellow poet, the American poet and writer, Richard Stephen, is well known to me. He regularly posts his beautiful and captivating poetry on different sites, there a large number of fans/followers faithfully reads his work. I believe one of the explanations to why his writing is so immensely popular, is for the reason, that many find his writings so easy to relate to. Richard Stephen - Aka Poetic Fool, writes about life and its unpredictability. The author brings his reader on a visual poetic journey, where deep emotions of desire, love, loss, ecstasy, pain, hope, failure, disappointment and desperation are penned.

His unique style of writing is not easily forgotten. Many of us wish we had the gift to express what's in our hearts and minds, just like Richard Stephen does with his pen, but we don't. This amazing writer really knows how to bring things out that others can't put into words. I relate with many of his poems. . . Actually more than relate, I have lived those same emotions as well.

His newly published book, "The Ramblings of a Poetic Fool" is a beautiful and absorbing read. I highly recommend this collection for all who love the English language and poetry, but doubtless, all readers and fans of other genres would find this book a fulfilling and perceptive read.
Read it, and you will identify a piece of yourself within. ”The Ramblings of a Poetic Fool” can be purchased at:

If you would like to hear Richard Stephen read some of his poems, you may visit his poetry blog, and click on the "Recorded Poems" menu item.

Richard Stephen is a photographer as well. Some of his photographs can be viewed on his blog and on Bubblews
Raindrop's Rebound

The Early Bird


Richard Stephen's beautiful photographs 
are on the front and back cover of his book

"The Ramblings of a Poetic Fool” can be purchased at:

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mediterranean Cooking - Means Healthy Eating

Greece will always be my "second home" in my heart. Greece was the place I enjoyed cooking more than usual. I guess the lovely surroundings and the gorgeous weather has something to do with it, but the main reason probably is the abundance of fresh local vegetables. The Greeks feel the need to share what nature has provided, and it's so charming to have my next door neighbors bringing me vegetables and fruit from their gardens, like tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, watermelons or whatever that's in season.

As a vegetarian, I find the Greek cuisine to be extremely satisfying, since fresh vegetables, olive oil and herbs are the basics in most of the dishes. However, meat can be added to many of the dishes, or they all can be excellent side dishes to those who prefers a piece of meat, chicken or fish to go with their meal.

Eggplants (aubergines) are popular in Greek cooking and very versatile. I believe, I could write a Greek cookbook alone, about this immensely useful and tasteful vegetable.

I'll share with you one of my favorite Greek eggplant dishes.  This dish has all the classic Greek tastes; eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, olive oil and oregano. During the extremely hot season, I usually cooked the meal in the morning, to be eaten cold for lunch or dinner. It's more tasteful that way. However, it can be enjoyed as a hot meal as well.

Greek Stew of Eggplant and Potatoes  ( Melitzanes sti Katsarola)

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35-40 minutes
Yield: serves 4

1 pound of eggplants, peel half the skin away from the eggplants in long strips, so that they look stripy. Cut in egg-sized chunks
2 pounds of potatoes, peeled, cut in large chunks

2 medium red onions, (finely diced)

2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)

1 green bell pepper (diced)

2 Carrots (diced)

1 bunch of fresh parsley, (chopped)

2 cups of pulped stewed tomatoes  (or 1 can tinned tomatoes, pureed)

6 tbsp of olive oil

1 1/4 cups of water

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

1 teaspoon of oregano

Crumbled Feta cheese. Can be replaced with Graviera.


Heat 6 tbsp of oil in a deep stew pot.

Saute the onions until tender.

Add the, garlic, bell peppers, carrots, eggplants, parsley, potatoes, pulped tomatoes, olive oil, salt , pepper and oregano

Mix until well combined.

Saute for 1-2 minutes.

Add the water.

Bring to a boil.

Lower the heat. Cover.

Let it cook over medium heat for 30-35 minutes or until the potatoes are done and most of the juices are absorbed.

Take the pot off from the heat.

Sprinkle the feta cheese or Graviera cheese on top, and let it melt.

Serve it hot or cold with olives and a slice of feta cheese.  

 Bon Appetite! Or as we say in Greece;  Kali Orixi! 


Hippocrates taught us, 
“Nutrition should be your medicine.” 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Vincent Moore - The Canadian Poet

Three Books of Poetry

Vincent Moore's  three books of poetry are finally available in print. His latest “In Passionata” is one of them.

The Canadian Poet

Vincent Moore is a Canadian poet born and raised in Montreal, Quebec. He grew up in a predominantly Irish area known as Point St. Charles. Life in The Point during the 1950s, and 1960s, is the inspiration for much of his work and the result is a poignant and poetic marriage of tenderness and pain. He now resides on the Canadian Prairies.

Vincent Moore
I am a big fan of Vincent Moore. The first time I read his work, I was immediately captivated by his gift of words, and I have been following this fine poet and his writing for over two years now. I encourage anyone to become a follower of his beautiful poetry website, 
On his website this talented and intriguing poet will share his poetic journey with each and every one of us. His unique poetry is deeply soul stirring and will not leave his reader untouched.

A while back ago, I purchased the Kindle version of the book “In Melancholia” It's a Poetic compilation of memories, thoughts and emotions of this poet's darker side of his childhood. Through his pen he writes about poverty, violence, booze and pain, so strong and gripping, that many times, I can't hold back my tears. 

Life can be cruel yet only we can help ourselves to crawl from the darkness of despair” is an excerpt from “In Melancholia.” Vincent Moore is a survivor and a true example of finding his way out of the darkness by following his poetic path, and to become one of today's greatest poets.

Vincent Moore makes us understand, the heart of his healing is through his burning pen, and through his writing he inspires and brings hope to so many of his readers.

Not only do I admire his strength, compassion and wisdom but also for the very fine and brilliant writer that he is. To catch the essence of this amazing man you have to read his work, and I promise you, you'll fall in love with this poet and his gifted quill as much as I have.

I have just purchased his third and latest poetry book " In Passionata," but in a printed form this time. I can hardly wait to hold it in my hands. I'm so happy that this poet finally decided to let his fans/followers have the ability to purchase his poetry in a printed form. It's a stunning collection of poetry to own.

"In Melancholia" can be purchased at Vincent Moore's Website

In Absinthia can be purchased at Vincent Moore's Website

Friday, August 9, 2013

Crete - An Island of Wondrous and Unspoiled Beauty

The Greek island of Crete, is a place with unbelievable natural beauty and old charm. A place that I consider unique. Crete is a place blessed by a people friendly climate of long hot summers and short mild winters. This island combines the clean, turquoise sea with rough mountains, lush vineyards, olive groves and citrus orchards.

Almyrida Beach

There is a small and picturesque mountain village named Plaka, which I have fond memories of. This charming village with the traditional stone-built houses and spectacular view, is just so lovely. At the break of dawn the neighbor's rooster wakes every one up, followed by the distant bleat of the goats and dogs barking. As the cool morning turned warmer the cicada sounds grew louder and louder.

The uneven and narrow roads are winding in-between the stone-built homes there cats and a salamander or two may cross your path. The life here is very simple with no stress. Here people say hello with a smile, and may even invite you to sit down for a leisurely talk over a glass of Raki, (a strong distilled spirit containing approximately 37 per cent alcohol per volume and is produced from the must-residue of the wine-press.) 

The Cretan locals are famous for its hospitality and generosity, so do not be surprised if they welcome you to join them for food and wine, or bring you vegetables and fruits from their garden.

The neighbors grapes 

Prickly Pears 

I sure miss this wondrous and unspoiled beauty, yes even the obnoxious rooster that woke me up way too early every morning.

The sunset from my window

Crete - Thank you for the lovely memories - I'll be back. . . . Someday.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Emerald Wells Cafe - A Home Away From Home

Emerald Wells Cafe - A Home Away From Home.
The cafe is a wonderful place to hang out and meet our friends. We can always be ascertained of a warm welcome and excellent coffee served by Em.

Michael Friedman's, Emerald Wells Cafe, spoke to me from the very first page. I immediately connected with the likable characters like Emmy, Earl, Harold, Carl, Rose and Dale the Sheriff who lives in the wonderful small town, Emerald Wells, just off the crossroads and Highway 27, Texas.

The author lets us into the lives of the folks in Emerald Wells, in an era, simpler and kinder, when people actually had time to care and talk to their neighbors. Emerald Wells Cafe is a home away from home to the folks who lives in the town, and each chapter will bring you humor, drama, dilemmas, adventure, romance, a dash of poetry and yes, nostalgia. It did not take many pages before I felt close to the characters, and truly fell in love with the little town and its inhabitants.

The book is extraordinarily good and I'm amazed how fast I read this book. But the author's writing is so captivating and engaging that I did not want to stop turning the pages. I kept saying to myself, just one more page. . .

Emerald Wells Cafe is an absolutely delightful book and I am so glad I read it. Michael Friedman is an amazing writer, and this well-written and highly recommendable story left me smiling. I truly loved it! If you haven't read Emerald Wells Cafe I suggest you give it a try. It's more than worth it!


Book Description:
Join Em and Earl as they host Carl, Gabby, Dale and Harold at the Emerald Wells Café. The year is 1955; the place Emerald Wells, Texas; just off the crossroads. A place where everybody passes through, their hurried lives paused for a moment for a quick cup of coffee and a generous slice of fresh apple pie. Join the staff for Movie Night shown on the side of the building or pull up a stool and listen in at Speakeasy Night.
Tucked into a grove of pines on a cottage lined lake these folks gather for laughter, love and genuine friendship.

Product Detail:
Emerald Wells Cafe (Kindle Edition)
Author: Michael Friedman
Foreword: Brenda J. Barnes
Introduction: Maria Jordan
Price: $14.99
File Size: 844 KB
Print Length: 710 pages
Publisher: Mockingbird-Books; First eBook edition edition (June 22, 2013)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English

Author and Illustrator, Michael Friedman

Michael Friedman's books: 

The Quinn-Moosebroker Mysteries

Emerald Wells Cafe

Murder Once Done