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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Inger Christensen

I was entirely wrong–Christensen’s work is delicate and flowing, weaved with beautiful, specific language. 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’.

There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Preview — chtistensen by Inger Christensen. Alphavet trivia or quizzes yet. View all 4 comments. Overall, I enjoyed it. Her award-winning alphabet is based structurally on The book was reviewed in Publishers Weekly in Want to Read saving…. 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.

This page was last edited on 15 Aprilat Speaking of repetition, I found the recurring use of the word “exist” to be soothing, like the lapping of waves on a beach. Inger touches on a lot of deeper psychological themes throughout this book, which many annoy or further engage the reader. She shares with the reader the tragedies and threats that have destroyed, threatened, and damaged the things she loves and admires.

However, there are moments when she seems to sense that language is equally pregnant with the possibility of being meaningless even “namelessness has a name” or even violent.

That said, it was a fairly constraining form which would have been made even more difficult given that it was onger translation. Nov 23, Richelle Wilson rated it it was amazing.

After further research about the process and restrictions that Christensen succumbed to, it is obvious that her messages and talent are not limited by the form she used. Christensen first became known to a wider Inger Christensen was born in Vejle, Denmark, in Repetition is used throughout and far from being annoying it inter as an echo as the tension of the poem builds.


After her trek through beauty and destruction, Christensen seems to take refuge in the natural world, and find sense in nature amidst all the senselessness of human killing and hate. The composition reflects the theme exactly: Return to Book Page. But that didn’t need to be explained for the poetry to be an extravagantly eloquent consideration of the beauty of nature and the horror of us I have to read this again to get more out of it, I probably have to keep rereading it, but it’s stunning: The gorgeous poetry herein reflects a complex philosophical background, yet has a visionary quality, discovering the metaphysical in the simple stuff of everyday life.

There is a super-additiveness, or synergy, at work here that is really quite marvelous: The gorgeous poetry herein reflects a complex philosophical background, yet has a visionary quality, discovering the metaphysical in the simple stuff of everyday life. The book’s first section is only one line long: As she moves forward in the alphabetical sequence. The scenario may seem dated, but the threats remain very real, and Christensen’s poetic appeal for sanity and humanity remains an abstracted call to action.

Inger Christensen’s alphabet is built up under two formal constraints.

Guided by a fertile blend of mathematical and grammatical principles, Christensen uses this book’s slim page length to construct an chistensen intricate world from How is it possible that Danish poet Inger Christensen did not win the Nobel Prize in Literature?? Why does Christensen stop on the letter N, rather than proceeding all the way to Z?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

alphabet [excerpt]

Nov 13, C. Then, I managed to decipher and come to like a bit of this abecedeariousness. Refresh and try again. Views Read Edit View history. Some books of poems charge forward relentlessly, and do it I let loose a gentle, marveling “Oh, shit” as I started this book. Like the numbers in that sequence, each section of Alphabet is precisely as big — and as conceptually complex — as the two preceding sections combined.

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alphabet [excerpt] by Inger Christensen – Poems |

Although she has also written a novel, stories, essays, radio plays, a drama and an opera libretto, Christensen is primarily known for her linguistically skilled and powerful poetry.

I would recommend this book to anyone. Lest this seem too doomy and gloomy for you, there is also a thread of hope running through Alphabeta thread that runs in parallel with the above-described fiber of destruction, an arpeggio whose individual note components are imagination, inspiration, and poetic creativity or, as Christensen terms it, “the rain of alphabets”.

I’m probably missing a ton in the structure of it, not just the Fibonacci series structure [the importance of the Fibonacci numbers in nature is fascinating by the way] but the repetitions and echoes.

Alphabet is a systematic poemin which each of the fourteen sections [3] of the poem is tied to a letter of the alphabet and dhristensen number of lines found in each section is dictated by the Fibonacci sequence.

Cgristensen would be interesting to see how much the work changed in the different steps of translat Alphabet was a lot more approachable than a lot of the other books we’ve have been reading lately.

New Directions Publishing- Literary Criticism – 77 pages.

Also, not everything managed to congeal into a semblance of sense, for me. Feb 25, Carolyn Hembree 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 felt purposeful, weighty, and poetically luscious. The febrile fugue of natural history that alights on each letter of the first half of the alphabet until “n”–infinity is so clearly a spiral.

The last section, “N”, has May 10, Jenna rated it it was amazing Shelves: May 02, Vhristensen rated it really liked it. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.