A Child Is Not a Knife: Selected Poems of Goran Sonnevi

Overview

Göran Sonnevi is one of Sweden's most celebrated, respected, and prolific poets. For this first book-length selection of Sonnevi to appear in English, Rika Lesser has chosen works written between 1971 and 1989—although most of the poems come from the last decade and from Sonnevi's last three books, which form part of the single oändlig [unending/infinite/interminable] poem that he continues to write from book to book. Of Lesser's introduction to the work, Richard Howard writes, "Lesser's wonderful prose texts at ...

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Overview

Göran Sonnevi is one of Sweden's most celebrated, respected, and prolific poets. For this first book-length selection of Sonnevi to appear in English, Rika Lesser has chosen works written between 1971 and 1989—although most of the poems come from the last decade and from Sonnevi's last three books, which form part of the single oändlig [unending/infinite/interminable] poem that he continues to write from book to book. Of Lesser's introduction to the work, Richard Howard writes, "Lesser's wonderful prose texts at the outset provide not only an ingress into complex and baffling matter but one of the most determined statements of the translator's text since Walter Benjamin."

From "Åby, Öland; 1982"

We are here in the ultimate lives of our bodies

negations of the ultimate negation

We are complete parts of the world

We rise up out of infinity

like the limestone flats from the sea Like the stars

We are denials of infinity

One day we shall reach all the way there

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Winner of the 1993 Translation Prize, American-Scandinavian Foundation
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Goran Sonnevi: An Introduction
Sonnevi: A Translator's Retrospective Montage
Koster, 1973 3
Whose life? you asked 15
the hyacinth 17
Dyron; 1981 18
Summer has turned now And I go 21
Seeing your smile 23
Mourning Cloak 25
Words have no limits 30
I said to you 33
The twilight of spring rain 37
You say I'm naive 38
You, who say yes to 39
Demon colors 40
For S***, 1971 43
There is life that / will not give up 45
You sense the light's fragrance 46
The wound bleeding 48
A Child Is Not a Knife 49
Breaking up: that large feeling 52
in the meadow by the shore 57
Incalculable: the heart 59
Death is no more 60
The narrow shaft 61
Fagerfjall, Tjorn, 1986; For Pentti 62
Aby, Oland; 1982 64
what / do I find / then 67
From the cliff at the foot of Skull Mountain 70
New Year's 1986 73
The center of unheard-of, of enormous hopes 75
Burge, Oja; 1989 79
Notes 87
Swedish Contents and Bibliographical Citations 93
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