Showing posts with label Swedish Literature. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Swedish Literature. Show all posts

Gunnar Ekelöf

Swedish poet and essayist, one of the greatest poets of the 20th century in the Nordic countries. Ekelöf started as a modernist under the influence of French surrealism, but mostly he did not follow fashionable literary currents. An alchemist of words, Ekelöf followed his visions, and searched for inner, often mystical truths – "ändå tvingas jag söka / detta förlorade något, / osynligt, outsägligt, / detta som alltid / går mina känslor förbi." (from 'Ökenstämningar') His last years Ekelöf spent with his most ambitious work, the "Byzantine trilogy" – a product of his long-time interest in the history and cultures of the Near East.

Yes, I long for home, 
Homeless I long for home,
Home to where love is, the one, the good,
Home to my real home!
That home is bright -
In my mind I open the door,
See everything awaiting me there. 

(from 'One after one')

A desolate wind from the city
and nearer, further
the bell's burden, swinging fifths
- it's burning! it's burning! -
of the dread march:
We lived - just then!
We live now not at all,
we shall live - for the firs time!

(from 'Marche funèbre' in Mölna Elegy, 1960)

The sea is the greatest sculptor
The sea is the greatest jeweller
The sea and death
There is no stone so jagged
the sea won’t rub it smooth
or grind it to sand
or finer
The sea gives birth to corals and shimmering creatures
evil and good
It gives birth to chiaroscuro and surface glitter
and deep dark
Death smoothes out evil and good
There is no fate so jagged it is not worn smooth by death
The sea that breathes, that sighs outside my window
Where I lie with death in my heart
waiting for the Pleiades to set
(from A Voice, 1965)