I am ill by poison. I am ill by a thirst,
Hand me the dead piece of your life. I will be sure to awake it. the nights await our time-killing knife. We will be sure to break it.
We are older than you, children of earth, you proud, you young. Chaos’ unformable voice are we, chaos’ unformable song we sung.
The day of no hunger, it is never the first.1923 a poem was published in the Swedish magazine clarté, and it came to leave an impression in many young minds. It radiated fighting spirit - both political and personal - and inspired to a new society and human beings. The author of the poem was Karin Boye (1900-1941), an academic from the upper middle class, but who was known for her sympathies with the socialists and for her serene poetry. The poem was In motion.
Karin Boye went through several crises during her life; already as a high-school student she struggled with questions concerning the outlook on life, and when eighteen years old she converted into Christianity, from which she converted back again only a couple of years later, during dramatical circumstances. In her novel Crisis (1934) she tells about her fight in both body and spirit, a fight which tore her apart. Also her bisexuality became one of her deepest crises in life.
As a lyric poet Karin Boye debuted with her poetry collection Clouds (1922). the poems are simple and enhold something of a piety. They are ideas, mirroring the struggle of the outlook on life, but also idyllic. Boye’s poetry after this collection came to show more of her fighting spirit - it leaves a trace of a strict hardness, and piety. but in this the joy. She also seeks joy/pleasure in the death; in the harshness of life.
Karin Boye was inspired by poets/writers as Vilhelm Ekelund, in whose poetry she seeked a solution in beauty-idolizing aestheticism, in Friedrich Nietzsche she found nourishment to a new belief in life and a trust to an unkown god, inside of the human being. She was also well familiar with the grail poet, Gustaf Fröding, and his works of which her teenage poetry whiteness.
The founder of the psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, was also one of Karin Boye’s deep inspirationeers, and she was in fact the first author to take the psychoanalysis as a foundation of her life. the novel Crisis is in fact a psychoanalysis on herself, with her as both the psychoanalysis and the patient.
Karin Boye’s second poetry collection is Hidden Lands (1924), and the third The Hearths (1927). She no longer seeks her adventures in the quiet, structured things, but know takes her escape to the power of chaos, as in Elementary Ghosts. But also they are ‘clouds on the run’, which urge us to ‘give ourselves up in the chaos’ formless powers’. Here can some of her typical hardness and sealedness be found.