Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Few Paragraphs About Swedish Poetry

(photo: Uppsala, Sweden, castle in foreground, cathedral further back)

A few words about Swedish poetry, then:

"The poetry of Karl Vennberg (1910-1995), with echoes from T.S. Eliot, was critical of his age in much the same way as that of Lindegren. Vennberg was an analytical skeptic who sought to re-evaluate poetic and political truths. He made his debut in 1937 with Hymn och hunger (Hymn and Hunger) and continued to write poetry until his death.

One of Vennberg's disciples was the modernist poet Werner Aspenström (1918-1997), who was a successful playwright as well. Although his breakthrough came in 1946 with the collection Skriket och tystnaden (The Scream and the Silence), he is mostly associated with the fifties. One of the most widely read Swedish poets, he remained active as a writer until the end.

A number of women authors appeared during the forties, as well. The poet and prose writer Elsa Grave (b. 1918) wrote colorfully grotesque and angry poems about everything from motherhood to the threat of nuclear war. Taking her heroines from ancient mythology, Rut Hillarp (b. 1914) created an erotic surrealism and became an example for many female writers.

Stina Aronson (1892-1956) received her literary and public breakthrough with the modernist novel Hitom himlen (This Side of Heaven), 1946, in which she portrayed the taciturn women in the hardscrabble farming areas of northern Sweden."

I might add that my grandfather, Isaak Åström, came from Boden, "in the hardscrabble farming areas of northern Sweden." Here's to you, "Ike."

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