Edith Sodergran Poems

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Edith Sodergran
Edith Irene Södergran (April 4, 1892 - June 24, 1923) was a Finland-Swedish poet. Södergran was born in St Petersburg on April 4, 1892, the daughter of Matts and Helena Södergran. When Edith was a few months old, the family bought a summer home in the village Raivola on the Karelian Isthmus, where Edith was to spend most summers. At the age of 10, she started school at Die deutsche Hauptschule zu S:t Petriin in St Petersburg, where she stayed until 1909. In 1907, Edith's father died from tuberculosis and in the following year, Edith was also diagnosed with the disease. She was sent to a sanatorium, but did not feel at ease there. The feelings of captivity caused by the disease and the sanatorium are a recurring theme in her poetry. In October 1911, Edith and her mother traveled to Arosa in Switzerland where Edith was examined by different doctors. After a few months, she was transferred to the Davos-Dorf sanatorium. In May 1912, her condition had improved enough for her to return home. Eventually, the disease returned and Edith Södergran died in 1923 in her home in Raivola. She was 31 years old. Edith Södergran's home went on to be destroyed during World War II. Södergran did not receive much recognition in her lifetime, but is now regarded one of Finland's foremost poets and is considered to be one of the greatest modernist poets of the Nordic countries. She was the first Finland-Swedish modernist and was influenced by French symbolism, German expressionism and Russian futurism. Her poems are characterised by a free rhythm and a gentle intimacy that makes them easily accessible to the reader. Her first work, Poems, include some of her best known love poems, inspired by a failed love affair which affected her deeply. Her later work changed from the gentleness of these to include strong, prophetic imagery that shocked critics. Her last work, The land that is not, is a collection of resigned, intimate poems written close to the end of her life. They were assembled by the author Hagar Olsson and published posthumously.

I want to let go -
so I don't give a damn about fine writing,
I'm rolling my sleeves up.... [read poem]
the question
I wonder if the old cow died or not.
Gey bad she was the night I left, and sick.
Dick reck... [read poem]
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