A for August Strindberg, the poet

A man with a so-called character is often a simple piece of mechanism; he has often only one point of view for the extremely complicated relationships of life. /August Strindberg

A for August
Page from my art journal with the writer August Strindberg (1849-1912) in focus, who some of us love and some of us hate. He is one of Sweden’s biggest and most famous writers, but personally I got sick of him in compulsory school, when we were all forced to read his Hemsöborna (People of Hemso). Se some of his bitter quotes and you’ll see what I mean. So why is he in my art journal? I love this picture which was in the paper – plus I dig his new ears! And I really like some of his work, like this poem:

H?r rivs f?r att f? luft och ljus;
?r kanske inte det tillr?ckligt?

V?lkommen ?ter, sn?lla sol,
lys ?ver land och vatten;
nu klingar s?ng, nu st?ms fiol,
nu dansas hela natten.
Strindberg with big ears - detail of collage (Copyright Hanna Andersson)

D?r h?nger p? bokl?dsf?nstret
en tunnkl?dd liten bok.
Det ?r ett urtaget hj?rta
som dinglar d?r p? sin krok.

Vinden vilar, viken ligger som en spegel,
kvarnen somnar, seglarn tar ner segel.
Oxarna bli sl?ppta ut i gr?na hagen,
allting rustar sig till vilodagen.

Vad v?nta de br?kiga kr?korna
d?rnere framf?r mitt hus?
De h?nga i lindarne,
och gunga f?r vindarne;
p? nattkvist kraxa de,
p? morgonkvist flaxa de,
och v?nta att dager blir ljus.

“There in the book shop window, hangs a little thread-bare book, like a cut out heart, dangling on a hook… ”

I remember those lines from school, because they are some of my favorite lines. Strindberg, take him as he is, or not at all.

4 Responses

  1. I saw an exhibit of his paintings at the Tate in London last winter and loved them. I never associated Strindberg with painting so it was a lovely discovery.

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