Harry Martinson was born at Jämshög, Sweden, in 1904. He was left an orphan at an early age, and after a chequered childhood, he went to sea at the age of 16, spending six years of his life on board various ships and as a workman in foreign countries. It was from these travels and years of work in environments of all kinds that he later drew material and inspiration for his literary efforts. Harry Martinson died in 1978. Chickweed Wintergreen: Selected Poems, translated by Robin Fulton with an introduction by Staffan Söderblom, is published by Bloodaxe Books in 2010.