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Danish poetry in English

Journal of Scandinavian Poetry on the Web/Tidsskrift med nordisk poesi på Nettet


Errors as part of life: Invitation..... [PDF]

Per-Olof Johansson in English:

Winter 2010

Snow letters from heaven

Crystal clear

Melts in my ear

Hydra for Equinox

New Year's - every day.


Stigma on China

Contemporary Danish poetry, an anthology,
ed. by Line Jensen ...[et al.],
introduction by Torben Brostrøm
1977 ,343 p.
ISBN 0-8057-8157-9

Contemporary Danish poetry and prose in translation,
ed. by Thomas E. Kennedy
1990 p. 7-52

100 Danish Poems
From the Medieval Period to the Present Day
Edited by Anne-Marie Mai and Thomas Bredsdorff
Translated by John Irons

2011, 368 s., indb
ISBN 978-87-635-3128-3

Danish Literary Magazine

Danish Literary Magazine is Published by

The Danish Arts Council's
Comittee for Literature
Read more

Update 03 27 2012

Pia Valentin Poetry

Danish poet in English

Ole Bundgaard Haiku

Danish poet in English

Per-Olof, Dk in English


Anti hate speech

If hate is God
God hates you.
Hate is a poison,
it kills you, your family,
your goal its self.
Hate creates hate,
makes hate your God.
If hate is God
God hates you.

Per-Olof Johansson

Danish songs

with music by Carl Nielsen now on Internet, with nodes and selected texts in Danish.

But ALL TEXTS are translated to English and can be seen for free!

English translations
of Carl Nielsen’s songs
PDF - in fact the biggest anthology ever with Danish songs in English (296)!!

Selected songs with textx in Danish and with nodes

Carl Nielsen Edition - Download

Music scores of all Carl Nielsen's works are available for free download. Also find introductions to his works and see what manuscript and printed sources are extant.




I have written this poem Hydra for Project Equinox 1996 on the day of the equinox. PROJECT EQUINOX(tm) is promoting World Peace Through Poetry in the Greatest Poetry Writing Event in History!

by Per-Olof Johansson 

Am I the one 
or is it mankind. 
Today is in focus and one head begun: 
A hard day told in a strange language. 
Only the children I take care of 
help me to forget it sometimes. 
In the newspaper a reader feels badly: 
he tells me that the Danish language is disappearing 
and that we the Danes will be more invisible 
than chief Seattle and his tribe. 
Then you have to follow me on my bike 
on my favorite tour, greeting everyone I meet 
and those only I see: Egun with the same disease as I, 
we knew why we were biking, and now he is dead, 
but to me he still has his head on his shoulders. 
Then in the grass at the lake without the heron 
I see the sword, a child’s made of wood, 
but the child will grow. 
I see the apples ripen on the trees: 
but in the shop they are French, Spanish or from Belgium. 
The dove is from Turkey, the squirrel is not red but black - 
what is happening here? Yes a son, Mamma and Pappa, 
grandmother and grandfather, are in the churchyard: 
but 100 years ago the family came here 
and the language is still in my ear, this is our America. 
Home from work, I am met with the message 
that an old friend Erik is dead at 12 o’clock. 
His origin is like my own and we made jokes with 
the tongue of our mothers, with tears in our eyes. 
Hercules did find his weapon: 
this is my day, this is my head. 



New Year's - every day

by Per-Olof Johansson 

From where I am living, 
I see preserved forests to the northwest, 
and those to the east, 
and the residential suburb, itself a forest. 

I see the vapour from the gas-heated houses 
like smoke from fireplaces in the village. 
Peace and frosty weather New Year’s morning 
following the tremendous bangs and glorious star domes. 

Working intensely to spread the quiet 
with open eyes, I send a seagull off 
to Noah’s Ark with a green branch. 



by Per-Olof Johansson 

When my father came home 
my mother had painted the floor red 
and he did not like it. 

Before Christmas she painted 
hundreds of splint baskets 
with a red handle and red flowers 
along the side, and a few green leaves, 
traditionally, as they did at home 
in her childhood. 

This painting is the one she bought in her youth: 
A woman standing before a farmers house 
with a yoke on her shoulder, 
carrying a bottle of water in each hand, 
one modern of zinc and the other 
made of wood, as my grandfather made them. 
With wooden shoes, 
she has a red skirt under the apron, 
white blouse with sleeves rolled up 
and the headskarf bound under her chin. 
I think she is on her way to 
the cattle and the horse in the field. 
Behind her, between her and the house 
a stone fence with flowers. 
The farmers house to the left, with a wooden gable, a triangle 
with a black hole in the middle to the interior, 
a thatched roof and a white chimney. 
To the right a tree, bad painted but  with symbolic values. 
I remember a photo with my mother 
smiling under this painting. 

The artistï's name unreadable, like unknown, 
no name known world-wide, the painting not bad, 
not especially good either, 
has no place in my view on art, 
but a painting my mother bought 
                              for some reasons 
I have to guess: 
the woman, 
the yoke, 
the water, 
the house, 
the chimney, 
the tree, 
the road, 
the work, 
the flowers, 
the triangle, 
all this at a glance: 
a red skirt. 


A Personal History of Splint Basketry in Denmark and Sweden


Danish Folk Songs in English and Danish in a bilingual edition illustrated by artist Sonia Brandes.

The book includes a total of 33 folk songs, selected and translated by the English poet and teacher David Broadbridge, on the basis of the material in Svend Grundtvig's big ballad collection DGF . The collection provides a rich introduction by the translator to the ballad universe.

The book homepage (in Danish): http://hovedland.dk/bog/Treading_the_dance.htm

See more on Sonia Brandes (English) http://www.sonjabrandes.dk/uk/

Danish Haiku Today

ISBN 978-87-92625-54-0

A supplement to the 2011 anniversary anthology of Danish haiku poets, Blade i Vinden (Leaves in the Wind).

2 hejkurve by Per-Olof Johansson

The Haiku Group of the Danish Authors' Society

Read more about Danish Haiku Today

Dan Turell, ....read by Thomas E. Kennedy reading the poem in English, with liner notes & soundtrack by Halfdan E and background vocals by Sanne
from: Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts



At a Danish library you can find what they think is outdated books for no money. For this one five Danish 'kroner'!

Carol L. Schroeder: A Bibliography of Danish Literature in English Translation 1950 - 1980. With a Selection of Books about Denmark. Det Danske Selskab 1982. ISBN 87-7429-044-4. You can find a lot of poetry mentioned in this volume.


  To Splints & Co.?

Journal of Scandinavian Poetry on the Web/Tidsskrift med nordisk poesi på Nettet

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