One of Scandinavia’s most honored poets, veteran Danish writer Christensen originally published her book-length Alphabet 20 years ago to great acclaim; this . Inger Christensen () was both a virtuoso and a paradox. Her fiction, drama, essays and children’s books won her wide acclaim in Denmark and other . Inger Christensen’s alphabet is built up under two formal constraints. It is an alphabetical sequence: each of the fourteen sections essentially begins with a.

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There is a super-additiveness, or synergy, at work here that is really quite marvelous: The poem starts as a celebration of the natural world but the threats to it soon become apparent and whilst ‘apricot trees exist’ so do ‘atom bombs exist’. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Like the numbers in that sequence, each section of Alphabet is precisely as big — and as conceptually complex — as the two preceding sections combined.

It created a rhythmic chant that gave the work a strong sense of cohesion. Then, I managed to decipher and come to like a bit of this abecedeariousness. Mar 05, Caleb added it Shelves: Christnsen decir, cada verso es la christwnsen de los dos precedentes: May 10, Jenna rated it it was amazing Shelves: The English translation surprisingly maintained a lot of the alliteration and, even when it didn’t, the translator’s choice of words still aophabet purposeful, weighty, and poetically luscious.

View all 8 comments. Her award-winning alphabet is based structurally on Fibonacci’s sequence a mathematical sequence in which each number is th 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. Return to Allphabet Page.


alphabet [excerpt]

The poem starts out simply enough: Some books of poems charge forward relentlessly, and do it I let loose a gentle, marveling “Oh, shit” as I started this book. I read this in brief segments over the course of a few months.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. Inger Christensen draws this haunting, close-to-the-nose-of-mortality tone throughout the book. Jul cheistensen, Hallie rated it it was amazing Recommended to Hallie by: The composition reflects the theme exactly: Denne hyldest til sproget passer perfekt i samlingens systemdigtning, der udfolder sig todelt; Hver sektion indrammet af Fibbonaci-tallene.

Her poetry is wonderful, organic, and haunting.

In alphabetChristensen 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. I have to read this again to get more out of it, Akphabet probably have to keep rereading it, but it’s stunning: May 02, Marco rated it really liked it.

alphabet [excerpt] by Inger Christensen – Poems |

Archived from the original on December 9, Books by Inger Christensen. Mar 13, Bryan Coleman rated it really liked it.

Speaking of repetition, I found the recurring use of the word “exist” to be soothing, like the lapping of waves on a beach. She was able to express her concerns and obsessions more effectively because she was limited in such a way that forced her to be more careful in her word choice, forcing her to only pick the exact words that she needed and that fit most perfectly.


As the poem progresses and each section lengthens, an increasing number of elements related to destruction, death, and ecological devastation are introduced. Christensen argues that we, the citizens of the world, must work our hardest to ensure that this faint green thread survives, to ensure that our children collectively inherit a world that is not beyond salvation.

The book was reviewed in Publishers Weekly in Apr 26, Marie rated it really liked it.

In fact, it would be safe to say that this process may have been to her advantage. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Published May 17th by New Directions first published Second, alphxbet concept of basing poetry of a mathematic sequence the Fibonacci sequence seemed as if it would yield forced, robotic poems.

The growth of the Fibonacci sequence is ultimately explosive as the poems seem to become unchained as the work moves forward. Why does Christensen stop on the letter N, rather than proceeding all the way to Z? I christenseen enjoyed the different patterns and visual breaks Christensen used towards the end of the book.