Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Memoir 2

Many of the contemporary Swedish poets I like the most (Aase Berg, Johan J├Ânsson etc) were influenced by the early poetry of Lars Noren. He set out as a teenage poet in the 1960s writing what he called "schizo poetry." In the 1980s-1990s he became an internationally acclaimed dramatist, but I like the poetry. Books like "Revolver," are lyrical and surreal but with much more at stake than those two terms suggest. A more interesting counter-point to the kind of political art I described in the memoir yesterday. Here's an excerpt (in a sloppy translation):

Just as there
can be no pure disease
there can be no pure poetry: we are
all shaped by our America.
There is a sore in us
which is created out of horror
and tainted
until the end


It is the cops from
the 1930s that are handling
the men who have
bleeding sickness in the snow

And the dream
about Roosevelt
naked midst
Bessie Smith's
hungry snakes


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