Griegs svar på dessa villkor är den kärva maningen: “Reducera!” Lakonismen i det ensamt placerade ropet understryker dess innebörd. Fortsättningen visar nerskruvningens resultat:


               Och hammarslagen i berget kom



               kom in en vårnatt i vårt rum

               förklädda till hjärtats slag.3 (Espmark 1983: 186,187).




Similar is his approach to the portrayal of artists, Jan Vermeer (1632-1675) or William Turner (1775-1854), indirectly of Fransisco Goya (1746-1828) in Caprichos, and as  Staffan Bergsten points out, although “portrait poetry is a genre of ancient lineage, in Tomas Tranströmer’s works it emerges in a new form. In texts of about ten lines he manages, in a series of images full of echoes and references, to summarize a man and his work and also to open broader human perspectives. One of the secrets of the portraits is that behind the historical person the author’s own features can be glimpsed. The objective surface distance corresponds to the deep subjective identification.” (Bergsten 1990: 584). 

It could be added that in the two types of these portraits the same stylistic device, the punch line, is applied to ”summarize” the content of the poem through an unexpected metaphor. It is perhaps at this juncture that we should underline the remarkable excellence of Tomas Tranströmer precisely in the creation of powerful and unusual imagery. His sovereign command of the metaphor as an exquisite instrument of poetry, cast from the noblest metal, enables him to use it not simply as a poetic device but also as a way to impart the opalescent aura of the parable to the ostensibly ordinary, to the obscurely gray. Tranströmer has the rare talent to achieve synthesis of the concrete and the abstract, the mundane and the sublime, the eternal and the ephemeral; reality turned into a metaphor becomes a metamorphosis in his mind, just like in myths or poetry, where they blend into a single entity in a peculiar, somewhat magical and even hypnotic way. The effect of synesthesia, that is the merger of several arts and types of creativity into a vibrating and magnetic whole, which stimulates the innate human ability to blend sensory perceptions and to transform them into ideas and shapes, is undoubtedly one of the greatest strengths of Tranströmer’s works.