More Global Poetics

"However, Modernism didn’t truly revolutionize Scandinavian poetry until [Finnish] Edith Södergran, Russian-born and German-educated, published a series of brash, radical books of free verse in the second half of the decade [1910's]. [...] From Södergran, [the later Swedish Modernist poets] received ideas of Russian Cubo- and Ego-Futurism as well as German Expressionism and French Symbolism. In her wake they remained highly international, reading and writing about wide range of movements and artists, including German Dadaism, Die Neue Sachlichkeit, Vladimir Mayakovsky and Sergei Eisenstein. Interestingly, many of them found a great connection to American Modernism. [...] It is important to note that the internationalism of Finland at this time was largely due to its precarious political situation. After centuries as a colony (first of Sweden then of Russia), Finland gained its independence with the Bolshevik Revolution. However independence was followed by civil war between Reds (supported by the Bolsheviks) and Whites (supported by various other European nations). The internationalism of poets like Södergran and [Henry] Parland can be seen as largely post-colonial. They were exposed to a variety of influences as subjects of an empire, and then engaged with other influences when that empire collapsed."

From Johannes Göransson's Introduction to his selection of Swedish poetry in translation in Typo Magazine, issue 07, now available, among other resources, also from the new Scandinavian Portal of the Electronic Poetry Center (EPC) (edited by me, and still very much under construction). I'm tempted to think that, again, any influence the portal may come to have, will be "largely due to [a] precarious political situation" where, after centuries of "national poetries", the poets in our countries are "exposed to variety of influences" as subjects of a World Poetry Community, where they, in turn, may even come to contribute to collapse of other "empires" (poetical if not political).

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