Updated: Aug 17, 2019
Edith Sӧdergran's poems welcome a reader into quietude.
“Poems about the cosmos can only be whispers,” writes Edith Sӧdergran, &, enthralled still in the quiet of her poetry, I must agree. The book We Women, a compilation of Sӧdergran’s poems translated by Samuel Charters, has a simplicity & clarity to it that lends it a breath-like quality. Even her contemplations on death are refreshing; they seem to be just a few more of her garden poems. This garden space in Sӧdergran’s writing is a place where shadows sleep, stars swarm, & “a whispering lies in wait between the trees.”
Her words buoy in the mind long after first reading.
Two years have passed since I initially picked up this book, & still I find certain lines stuck in my head like a song’s three note refrain: “My soul was a light blue dress the color of the sky; / I left it on a cliff by the sea.” “My hand isn’t at home in yours. / Your hand is desire-- / my hand is longing.” “The key to all secrets lies in the grass in the raspberry patch.” Sӧdergran died a young poet with a voice often spoken over, but, for those willing to enter her quietude, that same voice is deeply compelling & empowering. “I am sure of myself,” she writes
“because I have discovered my own dimensions. It doesn’t behoove me to make myself smaller than I am.”
She calls us women to discover our dimensions & demand our space in this wonderful, broken, enchanted world.