Därför berör oss fåglarnas liv : Lennart Sjögrens poetiska livsförståelse

Sammanfattning: This dissertation examines Lennart Sjögren’s conception of life as revealed through his poetry and other written documents. Light is shed on his writings in three chapters, with an Introduction that opens the investigations, and a Conclusion that sums up the findings. His collection of poetry Ur männisovärlden (2008, From the world of the living) is commented upon in an epilogue. Chapter Two analyses the collection Havet (1974, The Sea), focussing on Sjögren’s view of nature and his imagery. A religious tone can be apparent throughout the poems. In earlier centuries, poems about migratory birds often gained in authenticity via their Christian context. In a secularised age, ecological insights add to the credibility of the poems. Chapter Three is an analysis and interpretation of Sjögren’s collection of poems Fågeljägarna (1997, The Bird Catchers), as well as of the intra- and intertexts that the reader meets in his writings and that, for various reasons, serve to make Sjögren’s poetic voice so distinctive. In a series of subsections the uniqueness of Fågeljägarna is defined by means of a comparison with ecology, secularisation (secularism), nihilism, religion and mythology. In addition, there is a discussion of the “poetry of place” and a final analysis of what unites and divides Sjögren and K. E. Løgstrup, regarding a poetic understanding of life. Independent of the ideological direction that is identi-fied, this cycle of poems is marked by an elegiac mood. The poem “Dagen före plöjarens kväll” (1984, “The Day before the Plough-man’s Evening”) from the eponymous collection of poems is an example of an ekphrasis (a transformation of images). Chapter Four makes a close reading of this poem, for which Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s picture “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus” is a model. Four interpretative hypotheses are advanced: a moral, ontological, theological and a folkloristic one. The interpretation of the poem points out that the dialogue is not merely the poet’s private affair – the reader is also invited to take an active part in the discussion, now with the picture and the ekphrasis as prerequisites. The chapter contains a further three analyses of ekphrasis dealing with other poems from the collection Dagen före plöjarens kväll.