06 May 2009

Ann Jäderlund

Being a sucker for Swedish poet Katarina Frostenson, I'm wondering why I never got to reading any of her contemporaries. Perhaps because I never really felt the need to. At the moment, I'm going through some of Ann Jäderlund's work. I started off with the first three collections: Vimpelstaden, Som en gång varit äng, Snart går jag i sommaren ut and one of the later, I en cylinder i vattnet av vattengråt.

During my first read I had a hard time connecting to the work. It seemed to lack the friction, the consonants, the ugliness and the choruses I usually like my poetry to contain. It felt like the words were just pouring through the pages and that I failed to get a hold of them. Liking my poetry sort of harsh and German-like, Jäderlund's sentences seemed too French to me; too general, too romantic, too sensual, flowy and sleek. Ingratiating, perhaps.

Except for Snart går jag i sommaren ut, which is a horrific, haunting sort of tale, nothing else really did it for me.

But then I came around for a second read. Some time had passed and suddenly something had happened. A change of heart.

Jag har en stad i fickan, jag
har den här natten
som ska komma, hennes
spensliga hjärta

(from Sång för en man i solen, Vimpelstaden)

I suppose that quickly forming an opinion of poetry is always ungrateful. Plus, it has so much to do with mood. Reading the latest novel by Nina Bouraoui at the same time helped, though ('s what I said, Jäderlund + French = True).

Ah well. I am not done yet.

Du är en annan spegel det går inte bort

(from En stråle blod, originally meant to be contained in Som en gång varit äng)