lyrikline blog

Readings to remember: Gunnar Ekelöf

Posted in Gunnar Ekelöf by lyrikline on 14. March 2014

Gunnar Ekelöf (September 15, 1907 – March 16, 1968)  is a classic of 20th-century Swedish poetry and was Sweden’s first surrealist poet. His work has had a major influence on generations of later writers not only in Sweden, among them Inger Christensen or Robert Bly. From 1958 he was a member of the Swedish Academy.

Ekelöf’s late work was influenced by his interest in the Orient and the Byzantine Empire. In this clip from 1961 he reads his poem Denna kväll i Pháliron (This evening in Pháliron). Trivia: Pháliron was ancient Athens’ oldest harbour.


We unsuccessfully raked the internet for any translation of this poem. So, if you don’t know Swedish, simply enjoy the beautiful melody of the Swedish language. By the way – some more trivia – did you know that Swedish is a “mildy tonal language”? Read here to find out more about it’s special tone.