Friday, June 29, 2007

Gunnar Ekelöf: Poetik

Dette diktet kan i grunnen tale for seg selv, det er en dikters syn på hva et dikt er - og så sant som noe annet jeg har sett skrevet om dikt.


Det är till tystnaden du skall lyssna
tystnaden bakom apostroferingar, allusioner
tystnaden i retoriken
eller i det så kallade formellt fulländade
Detta är sökandet efter ett meningslöst
i det meningsfulla
och omvänt

Och allt vad jag så konstfullt söker dikta
är kontrastvis någonting konstlöst
och hela fyllnaden tom
Vad jag har skrivit
är skrivet mellan raderna

Monday, June 18, 2007


This morning I had a most pleasant phone call - my mother called me to tell me that she had finally been able to lay her hands on this incredibly funny, imaginative and profoundly Nordic-comic movie -- Äppelkriget! (Meaning: The Apple War...)

This movie, invented&directed by the legendary Hasse Alfredsson and Tage Danielsson, is such a treat to the playful lover of absurd-melancholy-politically oriented-Northern mythology&superstition-inflicted works of art.

I have looked for this for ages, and it has been completely impossible to localise. Through one of my mother's many teacher friends, however, arrived my rescue.

Kjersti: Thanks a lot!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Gothic Air

There is something about the gothic style, the obvious reaching for something higher, that is really appealing to me.

The pillars, the high windows, all the air that fills these buildings, the magnificent space in other words, is speaking directly to something divine in me. It creates a really good feeling to move in a space that has room for all of you, even for your craving for the high sky.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Life-long Quest

So. What makes you open up and unfold like a staircase flowing suddenly everywhere.

One way of meeting yourself is through mirroring. When someone you respect and feel is your equal makes you aware of certain bad habits or unnecessary patterns, it really causes you to wake up and view yourself in a brighter light, again causing you to search your seams and mend the patchy ones from the inside. At least that is how it is with me.

Where does one's strength, one's human erectness and immense existential density come from? From where does one's wish for unfolding towards an unknown truth stem? What nourishes your craving to continue developing, to continue unfold and step up the always&everywhere unfolding staircase?

A calling from your soul.

Something in our deepest nature drives us on. The want for truth, light and simplicity, for the sometimes unrevealed layers of existence is burning in us. With undying curiosity this life-long, more or less glowing crave eggs us on in our quest for truth.

Truth. How I long for it! And yet, something tells me that the searching is equally important as that of attaining it. (Probably you wouldn't have one without the other... But still.)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Which book are you?

This was a most amusing quiz I had to take: The Book Quiz! Just answer a few, not-hard questions, and your literary alter-id shows up.

And I have to say, this was a remarkably succinct result - quite to the point, actually - although I measure out my life in tea spoons, rather than coffee ones. You should try too!

So this is me:

You're Prufrock and Other Observations!

by T.S. Eliot

Though you are very short and often overshadowed, your voice is poetic
and lyrical. Dark and brooding, you see the world as a hopeless effort of people trying
to impress other people. Though you make reference to almost everything, you've really
heard enough about Michelangelo. You measure out your life with coffee spoons.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Recognizing yourself in another

I am currently reading this autobiography by a Hungarian woman who lived from 1897 - 1994. I have read about a quarter of the book, so naturally I cannot give you a full (re)view - but it gripped me instantly and glued me to the pages.

Why? It is all about recognition. It would be vanity to the extremes to say that I possess half of her insight and strong will to live and to explore everything in life, but still there are many points of recognition. Or rather, her thread through life is similar to much that I have seen and thought, but not believed strongly enough to carry out or stand up for. Whilst she always followed the voice within her that she knew was the truth, I have tended to adjust to my surroundings, wishing for peace more than complete truth.

In some respect I think that is an OK way to start life, as it allows you to be around people quietly, without too much strife. The down-side of this is of course that you might miss out on important battles for your own sake, battles for your truth (which most often turns out to be universal truths), that you give in to the habit of following other people's tune to keep the peace.

Well, this woman, Elisabeth Haich, certainly never gave in to such ideas. She seems to always have experienced directly what is true, and stayed with that. And acted accordingly. I rarely get inspired by what other people do or have done, but this woman is different. She is just revealing her truth throughout her life, and does not try to persuade you into anything. You can just read what she says and decide everything for yourself.

With me, it was recognition from the first sentence. Probably most people won't have that experience, and miss out on the depths of her words. But there is always someone or something speaking directly to you, you might just not have heard their voice yet.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Another beautiful poem by Jack Gilbert

When someone gave me a poem by Jack Gilbert in reply to a post I had some time ago, I thought it was so beautiful and simple that I had to purchase a couple of his books. A few weeks ago, they landed in my mailbox (thank heaven for Amazon), and yesterday I found some time to look at The Great Fires - a collection of Gilbert's poems from 1982 - 1992. I was not disappointed.

His words carry their own weight and balance on a thin line of golden warmth, melancholy wetness and the now and then icy shock of feeling the total emptiness a life can hold.

Overall the word 'simplicity' seems to suit his poems the best. He recognizes the thin wire of life and is holding on to it, by words.

So here goes:


We think the fire eats the wood.
We are wrong. The wood reaches out
to the flame. The fire licks at
what the wood harbors, and the wood
gives itself away to that intimacy,
the manner in which we and the world
meet each new day. Harm and boon
in the meetings. As heart meets what
is not heart, the way the spirit
encounters the flesh and the mouth meets
the foreignness in another mouth. We stand
looking at the ruin of our garden
in the early dark of November, hearing crows
go over while the first snow shines coldly
everywhere. Grief makes the heart
apparent as much as sudden happiness can.

I can't control myself completely here, have to add another comment: This is one of many poems that reveals a certain Easternness with him. I am sure the Japanese and Chinese languages hold a shorter, simpler word for 'simplicity', and that their terms can be applied directly onto Gilbert's work. If anyone cunning in these languages should read this, please leave me a comment with some words or phrases that might suit this guy's "project".

(I suspect that his way with words is the Western way of expressing some simple truths many Eastern cultures&literatures have known and shown for years - the haikus as one example.)