The Poet Who Created Herself: Selected Letters of Edith Södergran | Buy Now
Translated by Silvester Mazzarella
244 pages RRP £12.95 paperback 2015 Series A
Edith Södergran's vital, compelling and very personal poems have been translated into many languages, and several times into English. Written for the most part when she was dying of tuberculosis in a remote Finnish frontier village only a short train journey away from revolutionary Petrograd, they are a major contribution to European modernism. These letters are almost all that remains to us of her work, apart from the poetry. The most personal of them were written between 1919 and 1923 to two like-minded young Finland-Swedish writers, Hagar Olsson and Elmer Diktonius. They are unusually spontaneous and show Södergran in many moods, passionate and caring, intransigent, desperate for human contact, and racked by religious doubts that threaten to stifle the very poetry for which she lived. The collection is accompanied by an introduction and notes which both contextualize the letters and greatly enhance our understanding of Södergran's life and poetry.