A sceptic´s way

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The poem concludes with a grim prediction that surfeited mankind will perish through its experiments with microbes, a fate that still looms very possible. Just as the dinosaurs literally outgrew their biological limits, mankind will destroy itself through hyperdeveloped cunning. Gierow’s vision of a writhing, monstrous new primitivity in the title poem is complemented by other texts which protest against war in general, and a rather sentimental tribute to those who suffered in World War I. Other poems are completely nonpolitical. ”Näktergalen” (The Nightingale) depicts the quest for poetry itself in its description of the search for an elusive melody of the songster ”heard midst the shadows. and seen by none.” The delicately understated lullaby ”Natten sjunger själv” (The Night Herself Sings)has been called one of Gierow’s most successful poems.

Mother who bore you
knows what she bore.
Still I can hold you,
form of my form
—glance which you learn with.
knee which you grieve with.
arms which embrace you
when you are worn.

Days which you run through.
Give out at last.
Your self-delousions
Loosen their grasp.
Legends I tell you.
Shrouding I spread for you.
One day your pupils,
I will blow you out.


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