Sunday, April 18, 2010

Let Me Sing You Gentle Songs by Linda Olsson

From Singles 2010
A beautifully written story where not much happens - certainly nothing unexpected. Other people would be critical of that, but I was carried away by the prose and the lilting accent of the reader. One of my favorite things was the lines of poetry that started each chapter. And, for that reason, I have requested a copy of the book in paper, so I can flip through just the poems. Here is an entire poem by a Swedish poet, Karin Boye. It is the source of the title of the book. (Oh, except in the US, where the title is, as you can tell, "Astrid and Veronika".)

My poor little child
Karin Boye

My poor child, so afraid of the dark,
who has met ghosts of another kind,
who always among those clad in white
glimpses those with evil faces,
now let me sing you gentle songs,
from fright they free, from force and cramp.
Of the evil they ask no repentance.
Of the good they ask not for battle.

See, you must know, that all that lives
is deep inside of equal kind.
Like trees and herbs it seeks to grow -
pulled forward by its inner laws.
And trees may fall and flowers wilt
and branches break, their power lost,
still the dream remains - awaits the call -
in every living drop of sap. (205)"

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