The Angelgreen Sacrament (excerpt)

Eva Kristina Olsson
Translated from the Swedish by Johannes Göransson

when arms and hands around the breastmore and more divides the breastmore and more melt together sinkinto each otherhow the green lightenswhen the white darkensbut I come to youwe are the same stepbut you come to mewe are the same stepyou lay the fragile thin white wingsin the scent of your fragile thin white wingwords are not wordssacraments are not sacramentsbut they sayI dissolve allexcept the angelgreenwinds staff after staffin the green winding sheetthey are white and abandonedunwinds staff after stafffrom the green winding sheetthey are white and abandonedthey are inscribed and whitethey are nothing other than greenwingswhich are abandoned and whiteI am abandoned when I come to youI come to you to abandon meI will never abandon youyou will never abandon mein this room which is a stepof a word you know existedbut which you did not want to sayand will not saywhich I said to youwhen I wound it in my green wingsthis slit in the opened breastpair of wings in the doubling’s doubled doubling

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Eva Kristina Olsson (b. 1958) is the author of several books of poetry and plays, as well as a dancer, performer and filmmaker. She has published many books, including The Crime (1988), Eiderwhite (2011), the verse plays Antigone’s Face / Niobe’s Labyrinth (2013), and has had a major impact on Swedish poetry over the past three decades. This excerpt is the first few pages of her critically acclaimed book The Angelgreen Sacrament (2017), which Aase Berg called “torturously beautiful … the best poetry collection of the year” in Dagens Nyheter.

Born in Lund, Sweden, Johannes Göransson now lives in South Bend, Indiana, where he teaches at the University of Notre Dame. He’s the author of eight books, including POETRY AGAINST ALL, The Sugar Book and Transgressive Circulations: Essays on Translation, and the translator of several poets, including Aase Berg, Ann Jäderlund, Helena Boberg and Kim Yideum.

Johannes Göransson's translation of The Angelgreen Sacrament will be published by Black Square Editions in Spring of 2021.

Black Square Editions was started in 1999 with the intention of publishing translations of little known books by well-known poets and fiction writers, as well as the work of emerging and established authors.

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