After having attempted to write this collection several times and failed, writing an epilogue that should even remotely be able to detail the struggles I went through during the process of creation seems an insurmountable task.
I guess it suffices that you know the most basic facts about the collection. It is really not one collection; it is two. It is the distilled and purified essence of two poetry collections, carrying the name of the second. I incorporated my first poetry collection (“Whirlpool” from 2010) into “Insel des Einzelgänger” about half a year after writing the latter. I partly did so because I felt the collections were too short and didn’t stand well alone, and I partly did it because I felt that the two collections also dealt with the same theme – just in different ways. Therefore I decided to place the best poems from “Whirlpool” as a flashback in the middle of the present collection, since that is basically what they are in any case.
The poems I originally included in my “first” poetry collection “Whirlpool”, were written almost exclusively in late October 2010, and reflect the changes my life was undergoing at this time. I was 19, and due to be evicted from my apartment on the 1st of November. I wrote 15 of these poems (as well as the majority of the left-out ones) in the week leading up to this.
As you have undoubtedly noticed as you read the poems, I looked deeply inwards at the time – and most of the poems are indeed very personal. But I never kept them to myself – I literally threw them into the public realm from day one – possibly because I didn’t have any other achievements to boast of at the time, and possibly because they’re an important testimony to my state of mind at the time without actually revealing anything about my outward circumstances (which meant that showing these poems to my friends and family members was the only way I had of being honest with them, seeing as I felt that I had to keep everything else concerning my life at the time a secret).
I compiled the first version of the collection almost immediately (under the name “Whirlpool of this Soul” which was later changed to simply “Whirlpool” in the second edition because I removed the title poem and the title therefore didn’t make sense anymore). It lasted in this edition for about a year. Then I took out half of the poems because my increased experience told me that they were juvenile and unfit. Then it stayed that way for a short while until I published it in its third and (so I thought) final version on the internet in January 2013. However, then I wrote “Insel des Einzelgänger”… and the rest is history.
You are, as you already know, sitting with the result of the combination of these two collections.
Concerning the present version of “Insel des Einzelgänger”.
After combining the collections and thereby expanding the scope of the present version, it is clear to me that it could not have been presented in a better way. Something was lacking from “Insel des Einzelgänger”, and “Whirlpool” was juvenile and unfinished standing on its own. Neither was any good on their own in fact. Much like people when it comes to it – we also function better together than apart in most cases. It turns out that poetry sometimes works in exactly the same way.
All jokes aside, this simply goes to prove that writing and completing a poetry collection of any worth takes a considerable amount of time and energy – and thought – and testing. Keep that in mind if you ever plan on writing your own.
At last my work here is done, and that is something of a relief. It has taken over three years, and I am happy to finally see the end result. Now I can move on at long last – one thing has been taken off my mind. A couple of hundred to go – never mind, I’ll get to those in due time.
K-M Skalkenæs, 2. September 2013.