Although the theme of Trækfuglens kompas is that of travel, and most of the poems relate to this in one way or another, the book's real focus is on discovery - both of oneself and of the world, with a view to confirmation and affirmation. While the subjects of the poems range far and wide - from the experience of international airports to a "global spring-cleaning day" in Sierra Leone and Gaza, and from the poet's experience of losing personal possessions while traveling to that of her parents in flight from the Nazis in wartime Denmark - the emphasis is always on the return, the homecoming. The following poem is perhaps characteristic of the whole collection (my tr.):
LANDING My body has landed, it has set a period to the journey. And the nervous system which had adapted to other latitudes, is accustoming itself to the usual again. My body has landed, the luggage is there, but the soul is apparently doing fine in New Delhi among birds and reflected light, it has not returned. It sees dogs playing in the dust, sees women in colorful saris and sandals go swaying with pyramids of fruit in baskets on their heads. It listens to young women chirping like birds in a bush, it listens and understands immediately without knowing the words. My body has arrived at its own home, has jockeyed the suitcase up the stairs and unlocked the front door. It had no problem finding its way back to the cold moonlit nights but the soul still sits under a tree watching a little girl fan away the flies, while she plays with her chair in the grass in a park where it’s warm and quiet and the sun is low. I return with wide-awake eyes to see my own world again, soon the soul will be here, too.