A poet from my time of youth has died

Claes Andersson, foto Tomo Kontio (cropped)

Reading in the paper that the Finnish poet Claes Andersson died on Wednesday this week. Thinking instantly (as always now in my old age), “next it can be me”: as he was only 12 years older than me…! 😦

rose, white




There is a strange crack in our thinking about “death”, the own
and others. In mind, we accept the idea that “everyone dies” but
we can’t really imagine that this applies to us personally as well.

I read in the paper that the poet
Claes Andersson died at the age
of 82, one of my youth poets, well…

…we will all die (sooner or later).
(Think: better later than sooner!)
Sooner or later it will be our turn
to get our obituary, to be read in
a daily paper by those of us who’ll
live a little longer. Yet, the reader
(me) is one day and a step closer to
my non-being in flesh and in time.
Thinking quietly: rather then later!

rose, white




Det finns en märklig spricka i vårt tänkande om “döden”, den egna
och andras. Vi accepterar i tanken idén att “alla dör”, men ändå kan
vi inte riktigt föreställa oss att det gäller också för oss personligen.

Jag läser i tidningen att poeten
Claes Andersson dött vid 82 år,
en av min ungdoms poeter, tja…

… : vi dör alla (förr eller senare).
(Tänker: hellre senare än förr!)
Förr eller senare blir det vår tur
att få vår runa läst i tidningen av
de som lever litet längre. Likväl
är jag, nu den som läser, en dag
och ett steg närmare mitt eget
icke-varande, i köttet och tiden.
Tänker så tyst: hellre då senare!



Claes Andersson was a Finnish poet, psychiatrist, politician and jazz pianist. I have one of his early of poetry collections in my bookshelf at home “Genom sprickorna i vårt ansikte” (Through the cracks in our face) published in 1977. I haven’t read much of him during the later decades, just browsed a little in some poetry book now and then at the local library. (He belonged to the Nordic 70’s Left that I just had grown from.) His last poetry collection was published in 2015 entitled “En morgon vid havet – inandning, utandning” (A Morning at the Sea – Inhalation, Exhalation). I haven’t read the collection, but a review of it.  (By Eva Ström, it is written in Swedish (sydsvenskan.se/2015-11-19/poesi-som-andas).

rose, white




This poem by Claes Andersson is from his poetry collection 1977, page 31 in the book published 1977

Hennes skönhet liknande körsbärsblommans
Men hon saknade blick
Då förstod jag att blicken hon berövats
var en återspegling av all den omsorg
som aldrig kommit henne till del
Hon var den som inte setts
och som därför aldrig kunde få se

(in my translation, here to read on my blog only)

Her beauty looked like the cherry blossom
But she did not have a gaze
Then I realized that the gaze she was deprived
was a reflection of all the care
that was never given to her
She was the one, never being seen
and who therefore never was able to see

rose, whiterose, white


This entry was posted in aging, become old, books, copied lyrics, door openers, memories, old age, Poem in Swedish, poem in Swedish and English, poem in Swedish translated to English, poems, poems by vonnely, Poetry, politics, writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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