Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Alabama? is the name of a book I just bought.  A poetry collection, poems written by Norwegian Helge Torvund.
And for all those who don't read Norwegian, well, this might be the reason you should learn some of my mother tongue!  It's written in a beautiful nynorsk language, a language made of words and sentences I just want to eat, to keep.
I'm not a literary critic, nor do I know all the appropriate words and expressions which should be used when one is talking about poetry.  So, I let those who know all this take care of  the analyzing and dissecting, and I'll just talk about my experience reading these poems.
To me, this is mostly about Light, Love, Illness and Death.  And music.  These are poems who deal with the big questions, the ones we too rarely get close to, in fear of something, ourselves, probably... 
The poems are very all very different from each other, but you can still hear the same voice, the same mind behind them all.  There is something about the way Torvund writes that just hits right into my Being. 
Personally, I was most touched by the poem about the father who is no longer here. ("Far reist"), the one about life passing by so fast, and children growing up. ("Brått framme"), a poem about goodbyes ("Farveldikt I") and one of the poems about illness and hospital stay. ("Nokturne IV") Then again, every time I pick up the book again, and read another poem once more, this changes, and I see something different, read something different, probably because everything is shifting, me included.
This is a book I will keep close, so that I can regularly go back to it.  As I said, Torvund picks up those big themes which way too often are let be on the ground, hushed down, not talked about, and I need them.  We all do, don't we?

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