V HAT is fragile vessel we can fill? Which is the thinnest material we can handle? Read Katarina Frostenson is to explore and understand what is porous and what is fixed. It is to read a kind of natural lyric concrete forests, always with a small longing. And autumn is Catherine Frost’s season. Perhaps precisely because it is so much the seasons, so rich, so pure in cooling. Then there is also the notion that another year will soon have passed. If the fall is the future makes visible.
Katarina Frostenson continues in “Songs and formulas” that make up the nature of things. She loves the simple line, but there is in him a core of classical poetry and a sapfisk connotation. A vibration that does not stop the movement in the interior.
A lot has happened then “Flodtid” (2011) and “Karkas” (2004). New wars, killing 2.0 and the earth which is now disgusted by the world. One consequence of life, as it now appears, is the tremendous waste of resources. We talk about it all the time. The press writes about it every day. But Frostenson for further in poetry. Environmental destruction is one aspect, but in her poem also dealt with something else, a kind of debauchery. Middle-class obsession with making money and spend it taking so ugly expression. There are more than dumps and dirty city centers. We mutate, and the world with us. In “Lumber Walking” writing a new state forward, a geography:
“/…/ new landscape of appliances, mountains of refrigerators and freezers o silhouettes glaciers that really never melts to new resistance
a kind of harder more brilliant icebergs completely indigestible
to Ghana, from the roar of the radiator which rocked the seas and chafed against each other the song of appliances “
There is an asymmetry here poetry, a linguistic double standard, to master a language many formulas, with almost endless variations, and still select a single track. A single shape, and make it just as easy. So earthy and airy and watery and fiery. (“It is a forest / and inside a heart – intestine”). Nature is presented as it is. Then there is still much the city: Minsk, Sergel Square and Sveavägen (“what straight you are”), places of business where the human still taking hold and cut from a larger body in a lyrical biopsy.
The psychological narrative , self pulse, is excellent in “Songs and formulas”, with a stillness that creates room for negotiation to reality. The vowels are pitted against each other and draw, color, echoing out. There is restraint, and there is a gentle stream of longing that penetrates through the everyday gray, and occasionally light a meadow of synapses. This is where memories burn to. In Hagersten ridges language up and ajar among the pines, toward the track songs, how they bang out against Fruängen, even before the platform fully caught refilled again.
Mother’s death managed the geometric dimensions. For how could it ever be done? The angles based. The worlds collapse of incomprehension before the new order. That is completely understandable. Recently she was here, now she’s not here. An emotional algebra is all that remains. The sweet memory is prohibited.
The language in this new volume is free, in the sense that it is relieved that something happened that has made the language again. And the language weight appreciated throughout “Songs and formulas”. Its self-assurance is questioned and taken back, alternating. It is a landscape that is torn up and re-created elsewhere. Sentiment is not the language itself, it is the weight that the language bears. And it may be easiest of all:
“weight a relief to follow, drawn from their own deep man drowned off within itself”
There are a lot of reading Frost’s survey of daily life, an overdose of poetry. Pasolini’s (the “garbage on the beach /…/ piles of smoldering remnants”), murdered just returned from the Hotel Diplomat, and Marina Tsvetaeva (“the name is broken and bent / it arches its back”). And then quickly expanses of dreams into the world, the place where the language still needed the most. And it becomes clear: to read Catherine Frost’s “Songs and formulas,” is that when the fall kills one flower, leaf by leaf, and remember it as simple, beautiful.
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