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Roots & Branches Series
Translated from the Danish by Michael Goldman
ISBN 978-1-944682-13-2 (pbk.) $10.00 70 pages
ISBN 978-1-944682-64-4 (hdc.) $20.00
Featured on PBS News Hour
In this book of translated Danish poetry, farming is not used as a background for personal drama but as the speaker’s central subject. The poet succeeds in defining his central task as the vivid evocation of the repeated seasonal chores that make up the essence of farming life. Never sentimental, and often humorous, the book might be called an earthy celebration of essential ritual; but it is an elegy as well, for the poems also chronicle the pressures that lead to collapse of farming as a vocation, describing the slow shift of a vital farming village into a bedroom community for those who work elsewhere. How the poet manages to maintain his “dream about farming” as a living possibility, to make it part of a stable vision of the possible, without flinching from sober facts and figures, is one of its many impressive achievements.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author of twelve books of poetry including Practical Gods and Another Reason
Knud Sørensen’s poems investigate and lament the end of the Danish farmer’s way of life, brilliantly capturing its intertwined beauty and sadness. These poems have a universality that speaks to the disappearance of the family farm, not just in Denmark but in America and across the globe. All thanks to Michael Goldman for such vivid translations that allow a new audience to see ‘Denmark like a green dream about eternity.’
Denton Loving, author of Crimes Against Birds, editor of drafthorse literary journal
Knud Sørensen’s formidable literary output bears a vulnerability, an embracing, gentle warmth, and a penetrating apprehension of emotional depth in commonplace events. May his work take flight and find readers around the globe.
Dorthe Nors, Danish author of Karate Chop
“...Sørensen is one of the best Danish poets.”
Martin Gregersen, Kristelig Dagblad
“...relates sensation and realization to the reader, regardless of age, on the words’ and language’s own terms.”
Gerda Buhl Andersen, Morsø Folkeblad
“Knud Sørensen has acquired a unique, compassionate and deep insight into the mentality and the psychological shifts among farmers and rural people as a result of the total change in their circumstances over the past 60 - 70 years.”
Johannes H. Christensen, Jyllands-Posten
“No one has, for so many years and in so varied and detailed ways, written about rural life and the radical changes it has undergone, as Knud Sørensen.”
Erik Svendsen, Jyllands-Posten
Danish author, Knud Sørensen, born in 1928, was a certified land surveyor for 28 years, during which he became intimate with the Danish agricultural landscape. A book reviewer for 14 years, he has also written 48 books and won over 20 literary awards. including a lifelong grant from the Danish Arts Council. In November 2014 he received the Great Prize of the Danish Academy, the highest literary award given in Denmark. Sørensen lives in Denmark on the island of Mors.
Michael Goldman taught himself Danish over 30 years ago to help him win the heart of a lovely Danish girl—and they have been married ever since. Over 90 of his translations have appeared in numerous journals including Rattle, The International Poetry Review, and World Literature Today. Also a carpenter and clarinetist, Goldman lives in Florence, Massachusetts, USA.