A5, 20pp, December 2016, €6
The cover image is by Agnes Binett.
Bahrke’s lyric explorations here both cleverly and beautifully interrogate the status of the self vis a vis the ‘other’ in a transnational world:
I of no accents
and washed out flags
Can we lie down here
till the snow turns to straw
start a new language
I want to unlearn
Wipe those clouded yesterdays
from off my eyes
The borderlessness of her themes mirrors this writer’s refusal to choose between either daring experimentalism or lyric beauty, when both are ‘ours to ride’.
Hooray for this wonderful maiden voyage, this ‘route / of belief in elsewhere’!
The young Swedish writer, Filippa Bahrke, wouldn’t be the first person to have fallen in love, moved to Paris and published a book of poems. But as far as I know she is the only one to have stolen the fat apple from the mouth of capitalism’s swollen pig and woken up to discover that “the turkey we stuffed/ has stuffed us”. This is a promising debut and a reminder that if you are looking for what might constitute European literature in these troubled post–Brexit days then corrupt press and its sprawling catalogue of trans–national, contemporary poetry is as good a place as any to turn.
Rufo Quintavalle, member of Oulipo