God's Most Daring Angel

Edith Södergran was born in April 4 1892 in Sankt Petersburg. Her parents were from Finland and Edith their only child. At this time, Finland was an autonomous part of Russia. Her upbringing and schooling made here speak various languages such as German, French, English and Russian. However, she was never really educated in her native language Swedish.

Despite this, Swedish was her choice when writing poems. It seems that writing in a foreign language gave it another dimension, something I can truly sympathize with. According to Ursula Lindqvist, she  also "sought to liberate the Swedish soul from the decadence of previous generations and infuse it with a new revolutionary spirit". I must admit that my writing ambitions are not at all that great.

In her article "The Paradoxical Poetics of Edith Södergran", Lindqvist presents a translation of one of Södergran's most famous poems "Dagen svalnar" (The Day is Cooling Down):

"You sought a flower
and found a fruit.
You sought a well
and found a sea.
You sought a woman
and found a soul—
you are disappointed."

I can't but wonder, if Södergran though that history repeated itself after her fellow poet Elmer Diktonius left her after a short visit in 1922, illustrated by Magnus Nilsson's play "Guds djärvaste ängel" (God's Most Daring Angel).

From Midsummer Målen 2011

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