Poems from a major Swedish poet, responding to some of the most wrenching events of recent decades,icluding globalization and the war in Syria.
Marie Silkeberg has been a major voice in Swedish poetry since the early 1990s. In these poems, translated by Kelsi Vanada and drawn from her two most recent collections, Atlantis and Till Damaskus (written with Ghayath Almadhoun, whose poems from the collection were published in English translation as Adrenalin), she tackles some of the most wrenching events of recent decades--globalization, the escalating war in Syria, and its ongoing aftermath and consequences. The speaker of these poems lives in a reality informed by these events and by an older European history. Taking the standpoint of listener and observer forced to confront the horrors in present tense, the poems question how we share the pain of others, and how the meeting between different experiences of trauma influences language. The poems are matched with stills from Silkeberg's poetry films, putting word and image in dialogue to explore ruins, cityscapes, the echoes of history, all into the depth of language's power.
Marie Silkeberg is a a poet, translator filmmaker living in Stockholm.
In Atlantis, Silkeberg shows what a crucial poet she is. Not a misplaced word, never a comma that breaks the reading rhythm. Just sit still and let the wonder overtake you.