Saturday, 16 May 2009

Bothnian Wayfarer - 2

Last month Michel Ekman reviewed Gösta Ågren's latest collection of poems, Bottniska nätter (Bothnian Nights), in Hufvudstadsbladet. Interestingly, when searching for a poet to compare Ågren with (no easy task), Ekman mentions Sweden's Lennart Sjögren, some of whose poems we hope to feature here soon. Ekman has some pointed reflections on the style and manner of Ågren's poetry, and makes some very fair comments:

In a way, he is a literary paradox. In order to say what he has to say he has created a form that is unmistakably his own. It no longer offers any surprises, but it is very functional and insinuating. One might say that it is almost imperceptible, and that it lets the reader experience the poems as content without form, in the same way as prayers or hymns are perceived (which is not the same thing as formlessness, it should be pointed out, to be on the safe side). Or café conversation, as Ågren himself puts it:

The old poet speaks
clearly, as though form
were possible even when
one has set up camp
in a café conversation.
There are some translations of poems from Bottniska nätter in an earlier post to Nordic Voices, here.

See also: Bothnian Wayfarer

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