Hi, Robin. Thanks for all your work in bringing Tranströmer to an English-speaking audience. These minor quibbles about connotation are insignificant compared with the magnitude of your achievement.

That said, I do still find “gross” jarring to my American slang-influenced ear. (But whether you should be writing with a younger, and American, audience in mind is another question, of course. )

Thanks for the info. about the identity of the thrush. Again, this reflects a difference in usage between the continents, I think. To me, and probably most other American bird-lovers, “thrush” tends to mean one of the birds of that family with a more ethereal song and deep-woods habit, such as the wood thrush, hermit thrush, or Swainson’s thrush. The European songthrush fits the dooryard niche occupied here by the American robin, or in Central America by the clay-colored robin. But clearly you couldn’t use “robin,” since the European robin isn’t even a thrush. If “thrush” is the most common way of referring to a songthrush in Europe, then I’d say you made the right choice.

Thanks for the comment. I hope my simple-minded appreciation has brought you and Tranströmer a few new readers!