I have technically been writing poetry since seventh grade. However, back then I obviously had no idea anything would ever come of it. It was just a fun and different type of expression – I still hadn’t realized how powerful poetry could be.
The Turning Point
High school. First year. Danish class. Two poems by two different poets struck home within the same lesson. “Til mine forældre” (To my parents) by Gustaf Munch-Petersen, and “Erindring” (Memory) by Tove Ditlevsen.
The sheer force of those poems turned my impression of poetry upside down. It wasn’t just words arranged so that they rhymed. It was an opportunity to make people not merely understand, but also feel something.
From then on, I knew I wanted to write. And I tried. But my mastery of English wasn’t great back then, and writing poetry in Danish turned out to be way too personal, to the point of uncomfortable. It just came too close.
Themes: Loneliness, adolescence, sadness. Not much else. Very personal stuff essentially.
So… When Did I Really Kick It Off?
Summer 2010. I was 19. My life had taken a turn for the worse, and as I came to discover in the following years: Every time something bad happened, so did poetry.
That’s the time I started writing, and realized that I now had the ability to express what I wanted to express, in a way so that people could actually understand me.
I wrote my first poetry collection in 2010 – it was called “Whirlpool” – and circulated it among friends and family. However, later on I dismantled it and incorporated the poems into, most notably, “Insel des Einzelgänger“.
After that time, there was no going back. I wrote daily for the next several years – many of these poems have been compiled later on in “Writing is the End of All Things“, “What Bits of Peace My Life’s Ensured“, and “Confessions of the Cold Light of Dawn“. Many others have been discarded for lack of quality.
Themes: Nature. Writing. Philosophy. Self-reflection. Metaphysics. Love, unavoidably.
My More Recent Work
My “new style” was kicked off after an education-induced hiatus of two years. In 2016 I finally felt able to tackle writing poetry in Danish – and about Denmark to boot. “Denmark’s Daughter / Danmarks datter” is a bilingual collection – and it was a very interesting experience to write. It was born out of my own need for reflection on my identity more than anything else.
In the immediate aftermath, “De spor man efterlader sig” – my only singularly Danish-language collection – came into being. Riding the waves of its predecessor.
After that, I went back to writing in English again with “Seen From a Distance People Lose Their Eyes” which is written in the same style I developed while writing in Danish. It primarily deals with loss, isolation, writing and reflection.
Themes: Identity. Belonging. Loss. Change. Writing. Finding peace and solace in nature and within oneself.
As for the Future…
I am currently writing a new poetry collection (no surprises there). Its working title is “Light Requires Darkness”, and as you can probably tell based on that, I have slipped back into a philosophical mood. We’ll see how that goes. I expect it to be ready for publication in July 2018. Fingers crossed!