Poetry

Category archives for Poetry

Last night I attended Junior’s school concert in the church of St. Catherine in Stockholm. Here are some of the lyrics sung by the 13-14-year-olds in front of the altar. Because the world is round it turns me on Because the wind is high it blows my mind “Because”, Lennon & McCartney And Night-time sharpens,…

Dark Vengeance of Cryptic Slaughter

Discreetly hidden under the northern side of the eastern bridgehead of rural Täckhammar bridge is a spray-painted mural. I found it while checking for geocaches. It depicts an evil-looking male face accompanied by a really funny piece of Satanist prose poetry. “Dark vengeance of cryptic slaughter and Satanic suffering. The boundaries of Hell will brake…

Norm Sherman is an Elder God

I’ve listened to Escape Pod, the science fiction short-story podcast, for four years now. And lately I have become increasingly awed by one of the newer hosts, Norm Sherman. His writing is acerbic, his delivery is deadpan, the guy is just so cool and funny. On the most recent EP episode he played an absolutely…

Intellectual Aristocrat

One of the best friends I made during my decade in the Tolkien Society is Florence Vilén; poet, novelist, connoisseuse of art and letters. She recently published a volume of poetry, Purpurpränt. Dikter med rim och reson. And earlier tonight when she visited us she threw out one of the aristocratic one-liners she delights in.…

Mika’s Place for Underwear

11-y-o Junior bought his first own album last Saturday: Mika’s The Boy Who Knew Too Much. (My own first was Depeche Mode’s Some Great Reward, bought at age 12 in ’84 or ’85). It’s an excellent record once you’ve gotten used to Mika’s queeny (and Queenish) style of singing: catchy studio pop. And Junior has…

Beowulf Saves the Royal Pub

I’m finishing writing a book and you guys will have the opportunity to review the manuscript some time towards late summer. The working title is Mead-halls of the Eastern Geats. Elite Settlements and Political Geography AD 375-1000 in Östergötland, Sweden. The title alludes to the Old English epic poem about Beowulf. Set mainly in 6th…

Högby near Mjölby in Östergötland is a magical place because of a serious lack of historical sensitivity. In 1876 (which is really late as these things go in Sweden) the locals demolished their little 12th century church and built a new bigger one a mile to the south. This meant that the parish centre of…

Swedish Folkie Greets Spring

Spring’s finally reached Stockholm! To celebrate, here’s a song by one of the city’s finest folk singers, Stefan Sundström, off of his 1992 album Happy Hour Viser, “Happy Hour Songs”. I translate: Spring Samba By Stefan Sundström One morning when he awoke spring was already here He was bleary, tired and hung over, pretty bedraggled…

Voulez-vous?

The Mama Mia movie has revitalised interest in Swedish 70s pop giants ABBA. The other day I heard 10-y-o Junior’s school choir perform “As Good As New”. 5-y-o Juniorette and her pals at daycare sing garbled versions of all the hits, such as “Oo-nay-boo” (“Voulez-Vous”). I grew up with ABBA and I’m still a big…

Genius on the Edge

I worry about of Montreal’s musical motor, pop genius Kevin Barnes. He first got records out in 1997-98, when he was an elegantly naivistic singer of sad love songs. Then he shot like a lysergic rocket straight into Pepperland with four beatlesque albums in 1999-2004. On his 2005 album he suddenly said goodbye to his…