Elegies And Other Poems

by Lars Gustafsson

Lars Gustafsson is one of Sweden’s leading and most prolific men of letters––a poet, philosopher, and fiction writer with dozens of books to his credit since his literary debut, at the age of twenty, in 1956. Although known in the English-speaking world primarily for his novels and short fiction, Gustafsson is nevertheless one of the most frequently translated of contemporary Swedish poets. Elegies and Other Poems is a companion volume to The Stillness of the World Before Bach (New Directions, 1988). As in that earlier gathering, editor Christopher Middleton has made his selection from several of the poet’s books and included his own translations as well as those of others: Yvonne Sandstroem, Bill Brookshire, and Philip Martin. Readers of Gustafsson’s fiction will recognize in his verse the elegant mix of intellect and sheer play, the ruminations of a mind that apprehends humanity in the riddles of the universe. (“Clocks tick tentatively in tropical rooms,/Time takes children with it, makes them grow./Where the children stood, suddenly silence.”)

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Lars Gustafsson

Contemporary Swedish novelist, story-writer, poet, critic and professor.