– Edith Södergran (1892-1923)


You looked for a flower

and found a fruit.

You looked for a well

and found a sea.

You looked for a woman

and found a soul –

you are disappointed.


At sixteen Edith Sodergran found out she had the same illness of which her father died. But despite her tuberculosis, she maintained spiritual health and strength that made her friend Hagar Olsson say of her: ”In that fragile woman’s body lived a burning activity and willpower that, if liberated, as in the shape of a commander-in-chief, could overturn worlds.” Even when she neglected her appearance and became the “crazy girl” for the villagers of Raivola she kept writing.  Even when a villager killed her beloved cat, she kept writing. Even when villagers mocked the way she walked, the way she stood still and stared silently up at the sky, she kept writing.