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New Directions Publishing, 2001 - Literary Criticism - 77 pages
2 Reviews
Awarded the American-Scandinavian PEN Translation Prize by Michael Hamburger, Susanna Nied's translation of alphabet introduces Inger Christensen's poetry to US readers for the first time. Born in 1935, Inger Christensen is Denmark's best known poet. Her award-winning alphabet is based structurally on Fibonacci's sequence (a mathematical sequence in which each number is the sum of the two previous numbers), in combination with the alphabet. The gorgeous poetry herein reflects a complex philosophical background, yet has a visionary quality, discovering the metaphysical in the simple stuff of everyday life. In alphabet, Christensen creates a framework of psalm-like forms that unfold like expanding universes, while crystallizing both the beauty and the potential for destruction that permeate our times.

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Review: Alphabet

User Review  - Chris - Goodreads

"fisherbird herons exist, with their grey-blue arching backs, with their black-feathered crests and their bright-feathered tails they exist; in colonies they exist, in the so-called Old World; fish ... Read full review

Review: Alphabet

User Review  - Michael Murray - Goodreads

Wonderful book! Incredibly rich, and so complexly structured! What seem at first to be arbitrary and random items are later shown to be part of a complex weave, that are 'things in themselves ... Read full review


e early fall
j June nights
in midNovember
cobalt bombs
n nights

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About the author (2001)

Susanna Nied's work has appeared in various literary journals and anthologies. Her translation of alphabet won the 1982 ASF/PEN Translation Prize for Poetry, awarded by the American-Scandinavian Foundation and Scandinavian Review.

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