Poetry Depot

March 16, 2011

ELISABETH RYNELL: Contemporary Swedish Poetry

Filed under: Sweden — razvan @ 1:47 am

ELISABETH RYNELL was born in 1954 in Stockholm. Her father was a professor of English and her mother a nurse. After completing the comprehensive school in and around the capital city, she worked as an au pair in London and later settled in the north of Sweden, in Lycksele. Ms. Rynell debuted with the poetry collection Lyrsvit m.m. med gnöl (Poetry Suite etc. with Grumbling, 1975). Her first novel, entitled Veta hut (For Shame, 1979) appeared in 1979. Nattliga samtal (NightConversations, 1990) contains both poems and prose pieces. A recurring theme in the volume is the grieving for a life companion hastily taken away. Her last book, the novel Hohaj (1997), set in Norrland, Sweden’s northern wilderness, has a rather mythical quality. Ms .Rynell’s writing is distinguished by a strong emotional intensity, openness and sensuality. Other works include the poetry volumes Onda dikter (Evil Poems, 1980), Sorgvingesång (Sorrow Winged Songs, 1985), Sjuk fågel (Sick Bird, 1988), and Öckenvandrare (Desert Wanderer, 1993), and the novel En berättelse om Loka (A Tale About Loka, 1990). (from Columbia edu)


Nocturnal Conversations

Something of light
I cannot describe
Maybe love’s hands
Your skin like a drink
I don’t know

I wake into the nightmare
and I walk inside it
It is real, material
and I walk and walk

You left your dead
body behind you

And we stood and looked at it

And we did not know
what we should do with it


translated from the Swedish by Rika Lesser

(from Asymptote journal)

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