Archive for March, 1983


Issue 1/1983 | Archives online, Fiction, poetry

Claes Andresson

Claes Andersson. Photo: Johan Bargum.

Claes Andersson (born 1937) became, during the 1960s, one of the few authors to free themselves from the modernist tradition so firmly established in Finland-Swedish writing in the 1920s to create poetry of a more distinctly personal kind. Claes Andersson’s poems are coloured by his training as a psychiatrist; he uses technical language in which scientific terms are exploited as an expressive device. His work also sometimes contains black humour and an ironical element calculated to shock the reader; they reflect the contrast between the dream of beauty and love and the grim reality of evil . To date, Andersson has published eleven collections of poems and a considerable number of plays for the stage, cabaret and radio. He has also written three novels, the latest of which – entitled En människa som börjar likna sin själ (‘The person who began to resemble his soul’) – is to appear in the autumn of 1983. For an introduction to Claes Andersson’s work, see Thomas Warburton’s article in Books from Finland 3/1979. Claes Andersson’s poems have recently appeared in translation in Poetry East, Seneca Review, Scandinavian Review and Grand Street.


My love, the moments I spend
in your cunt I forget my
migraine aching joints drinking problem grand mal paralysis
hallucinations pain between the shoulderblades short-
ness of breath hiccoughs dandruff dry skin vertigo bedwetting
impaired hearing chafed lips pustules liver
spots leg sores bleeding gums flatulence
sciatica crying fits thoughts of suicide swol-
len ankles pathological thirst Angst baldness double
vision facial twinges difficulty concentrating
cross eyes burning in the urethra running ears ring­
ing ears cramps throat pain itching allergies
strange subcutaneous lumps cold hands nail-
biting hoarseness obesity jealousy vomiting
constipation sleeplessness noctural crying fits
failing memory pus in each nasal sinus and gout.

From Rumskamrater (‘Roommates’), 1974)