- Edith Södergran
Edith Irene Södergran (
April 4, 1892- June 24, 1923) was a Finland-Swedishpoet.
Södergran was born in
St Petersburgon April 4, 1892, the daughter of Matts and Helena Södergran. When Edith was a few months old, the family bought a summer home in the village Raivolaon the Karelian Isthmus, where Edith was to spend most summers. At the age of 10, she started school at "Die deutsche Hauptschule zu S:t Petriin" in St Petersburg, where she stayed until 1909.
In 1907, Edith's father died from
tuberculosisand in the following year, Edith was also diagnosed with the disease. She was sent to a sanatorium, but did not feel at ease there. The feelings of captivity caused by the disease and the sanatorium are a recurring theme in her poetry.
In October 1911, Edith and her mother traveled to
Arosain Switzerlandwhere Edith was examined by different doctors. After a few months, she was transferred to the Davos-Dorf sanatorium. In May 1912, her condition had improved enough for her to return home. Eventually, the disease returned and Edith Södergran died in 1923 in her home in Raivola. She was 31 years old. Edith Södergran's home went on to be destroyed during World War II.
Södergran did not receive much recognition in her lifetime, but is now regarded one of Finland's foremost poets and is considered to be one of the greatest
modernistpoets of the Nordic countries. She was the first Finland-Swedish modernist and was influenced by French symbolism, German expressionismand Russian futurism. Her poems are characterised by a free rhythm and a gentle intimacy that makes them easily accessible to the reader. Her first work, Poems, include some of her best known love poems, inspired by a failed love affair which affected her deeply. Her later work changed from the gentleness of these to include strong, prophetic imagery that shocked critics. Her last work, "The land that is not", is a collection of resigned, intimate poems written close to the end of her life. They were assembled by the author Hagar Olssonand published posthumously.
"The inner fire is the most important thing mankind possesses."
Works by Edith Södergran
*"Dikter" (Poems, 1916)
*"Septemberlyran" (1918, The September Lyre)
*"Rosenaltaret" (The Rose Altar, 1919)
*"Framtidens skugga" (1920, Shadow of the Future).
*"Landet som icke är" (The land that is not, 1925)
Works in English:
*"Complete Poems" (1984) translated by David McDuff.
*"Love & Solitude, selected poems by Edith Södergran." Bilingual centennial edition. Translated by Stina Katchadourian. Fjord Press, 1992.
*"Poems by Edith Södergran" translated by [http://www.gounilbrown.com Gounil Brown] , Icon Press.
* [http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/sodergra.htm Kuusankoski Public Library, Finland]
* [http://runeberg.org/authors/sodrgran.html Project Runeberg]
* [http://virtual.finland.fi/netcomm/news/showarticle.asp?intNWSAID=25780 Virtual Finland]
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