Karin Boye (1900-1941)

These are my translations of Karin Boye's Complete Poems. Boye was perhaps Sweden's greatest woman poet. Born in 1900, she was a poet of ideas, and wrote a powerful dystopian novel, Kallocain, which in its depiction of a totalitarian state bears an affinity to Zamyatin's We, Huxley’s Brave New World and Orwell’s 1984, though unlike them it is based on her experience of Nazism, not Communism. Her involvement in the radical literary and artistic movement Clarté during the 1920s led to her interest in psychoanalysis, which influenced her literary work as well as her personal development during the latter years of her life. Intellectually and emotionally she was far ahead of her time, and her controversial writings included the novel Crisis, in which she portrayed the religious turmoil of her adolescence and her discovery of her own bisexuality.

Translator's Introduction

Clouds (1922)

Hidden Lands (1924)

The Hearths (1927)

For the Tree's Sake (1935)

The Seven Deadly Sins and Other Posthumous Poems (1941)

Back to the home page