alphabet (Paperback)

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alphabet Cover Image
By Inger Christensen, Susanna Nied (Translated by)
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Staff Reviews

Based off of the Fibonacci sequence, Alphabet is about everything at once, but somehow doesn't feel like it's taking on too much. About creation, destruction, and the being we do in between: the expansive world around the apricot tree and the apricot tree itself. Read and exist. 

— Bekah


A startling and gorgeous work by Denmark's most admired poet finally available in English translation.

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. Born in 1935, Inger Christensen is Denmark's best known poet. Her award-winning alphabet is based structurally on Fibonacci's sequence (a mathematical sequence in which each number is the sum of the two previous numbers), in combination with the alphabet. The gorgeous poetry herein reflects a complex philosophical background, yet has a visionary quality, discovering the metaphysical in the simple stuff of everyday life. In alphabet, Christensen creates a framework of psalm-like forms that unfold like expanding universes, while crystallizing both the beauty and the potential for destruction that permeate our times.

About the Author

Inger Christensen (1935– 2009), whose work is a cornerstone of modern Scandinavian poetry, was the recipient of many international awards, among them the Nordic Authors’ Prize, bestowed by the Swedish Academy and known as the “Little Nobel.” Her books include the masterpiece it; alphabet; Butterfly Valley; and Light, Grass, and Letter in April.

Susanna Nied's work has appeared in various literary journals and anthologies. Her translation of It won the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award in 2007.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780811214773
ISBN-10: 081121477X
Publisher: New Directions
Publication Date: May 17th, 2001
Pages: 64
Language: English