Landskap på jorden och i drömmen. Studier i Folke Isakssons lyrik

Translated title of the contribution: Landscapes on earth and in dreams : a study of the poetry of Folke Isaksson

Håkan Sandgren

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


My study focuses on the analysis of single poems chosen as paradigmatic of Fole Isaksson's style and poetic vision. This approach is grounded in the belief that there is a certain thematic unity to Isaksson's lyric output, a unity which stems from the poet's constant preoccupation with the relations between the speaker of a poem and external nature, i.e. the place or landscape in or before which the speaker finds himself. I look at the various ways in which place is designated in his poetry. Furthermore, I show how the speaker of the poem affects the impressions of place and landscape by projecting onto these latter his own states of mind. In my opinion, the poetry of place presupposes a simplistic notion of mimetic correspondences. As I point out in my study, literary conventions always govern the lyrical creation and depiction of a certain landscape. Isaksson's early poetry is strongly influenced by Swedish modernism and the sophisticated poetry and poetics of, among others, R.M. Rilke, Dylan Thomas, Wallace Stevens, T.S. Eliot and the Swedish 'Poets of the Forties'. He relies heavily upon the style and ideology of his Swedish and foreign forefunners, but add to these features a much-discussed 'romanticism' of a modern kind. In his poetry of the late 1950s a mimetic journey is often required for the speaker to acquaint himself with foreign places. But the journeys back to the speaker's place and origin, his 'roots', are made in his mind, in his recollections of the past. This past is a locus of ambiguities. In his later collections, a poetic epiphany is connected to nature and the beauty of the rural landscapes, which are said to hold the key to salvation. My study tries to show the complexity of his poetry and to identify the most important thematic elements in his texts: the correlation between the lyric 'I' and physical objects; the semiotic power of fictive and actual places; and the historical, aesthetic, and social contexts that affect the content and form of his poetry. As place and landscape are seen as parts of an overall structure of semiotic signification, their profound meaning is revealed.
Translated title of the contributionLandscapes on earth and in dreams : a study of the poetry of Folke Isaksson
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
  • Comparative Literature
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date1999 Apr 10
ISBN (Print)91-7966-551-9
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 1999-04-10
Time: 10:15
Place: Edens hörsal, Lund University

External reviewer(s)

Name: Schönström, Rikard
Title: [unknown]
Affiliation: Department of Literature, University of Copenhagen


Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Languages and Literature

Free keywords

  • General and comparative literature
  • the aesthetics of the post-war era
  • modernist poetry
  • lyrical tropes and clichés
  • intertextuality
  • the metaphor of the journey
  • poetry of place
  • 20th century Swedish poetry
  • literature criticism
  • literary theory
  • Allmän och jämförande litteratur
  • litteraturkritik
  • litteraturteori


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