Tuesday, May 11

Gunnar Ekelöf

"I placed one word beside another and finally with a great deal of effort managed to construct a whole sentence--naturally not one that 'meant something' but one that was composed of word-nuances. It was the hidden meaning that I was seeking--a kind of Alchemie du verbe. One word has its meaning and another word has its own, but when they are brought together something strange happens to them: they have an in-between connotation at the same time as they retain their original individual meanings . . . poetry is this very tension-filled relationship between the words, between the lines, between the meanings."

--Gunnar Ekelöf

tr. W. H. Auden and Leif Sjöberg
quoted in Gunnar Ekelöf: Selected Poems
Introduction by Göran Prinz-Pahlson
[Baltimore, Maryland: Penguin Books, 1971]