I have technically been writing poetry since seventh grade. However, back then I obviously had no idea anything would ever come of it. It was just a fun and different type of expression – I still hadn’t realized how powerful poetry could be.
The Turning Point
High school. First year. Danish class. Two poems by two different poets struck home within the same lesson. “Til mine forældre” (To my parents) by Gustaf Munch-Petersen, and “Erindring” (Memory) by Tove Ditlevsen.
The sheer force of those poems turned my impression of poetry upside down. It wasn’t just words arranged so that they rhymed. It was an opportunity to make people not merely understand, but also feel something.
From then on, I knew I wanted to write. And I tried. But my mastery of English wasn’t great back then, and writing poetry in Danish turned out to be way too personal, to the point of uncomfortable. It just came too close.
Themes: Loneliness, adolescence, sadness. Not much else. Very personal stuff essentially.
So… When Did I Really Kick It Off?
Summer 2010. I was 19. My life had taken a turn for the worse, and as I came to discover in the following years: Every time something bad happened, so did poetry.
That’s the time I started writing, and realized that I now had the ability to express what I wanted to express, in a way so that people could actually understand me.
I wrote my first poetry collection in 2010 – it was called “Whirlpool” – and circulated it among friends and family. However, later on I dismantled it and incorporated the poems into, most notably, “Insel des Einzelgänger“.
After that time, there was no going back. I wrote daily for the next several years – many of these poems have been compiled later on in “Writing is the End of All Things“, “What Bits of Peace My Life’s Ensured“, and “Confessions of the Cold Light of Dawn“. Many others have been discarded for lack of quality.
Themes: Nature. Writing. Philosophy. Self-reflection. Metaphysics. Love, unavoidably.
My More Recent Work
My “new style” was kicked off after an education-induced hiatus of two years. In 2016 I finally felt able to tackle writing poetry in Danish – and about Denmark to boot. “Denmark’s Daughter / Danmarks datter” is a bilingual collection – and it was a very interesting experience to write. It was born out of my own need for reflection on my identity more than anything else.
In the immediate aftermath, “De spor man efterlader sig” – my only singularly Danish-language collection – came into being. Riding the waves of its predecessor.
After that, I went back to writing in English again with “Seen From a Distance People Lose Their Eyes” which is written in the same style I developed while writing in Danish. It primarily deals with loss, isolation, writing and reflection.
Themes: Identity. Belonging. Loss. Change. Writing. Finding peace and solace in nature and within oneself.
The Newer Collections, and the Future…
I wrote “Light Requires Darkness” as the closing of a chapter. It started with material left over from “Seen From a Distance…” and just grew and grew. I wrote myself out of a depression and into a new future with that collection. The last poem I wrote on the collection was written on the day I got together with my current partner. And that felt like a natural conclusion.
The last (finished) poetry collection I wrote was ‘divisive / dismissive / missive‘. It is fragmentary and written in a fit of rage after a dispute (long in the coming) with various family members who had watched me being miserable for years, never raising a hand (or voice) to offer any kind of help. I needed to get some things off my chest… and somehow it ended up evolving into a critique of social media and alienation in modern society in general – and the fragmentary nature of it suddenly seemed to make sense in that context. Which wasn’t planned, but just happened along the way.
This is, in terms of style, by far the most experimental collection I have written.
Themes: Identity. Family. Alienation. Technology and its Effects. Depression. Communication.
And as for the future, I have no idea right now. I have a few pending projects that I could start up, but right now I am devoting most of my spare time to an art exhibit I am planning, so the writing has currently been put on hold. Look for the ‘News‘ section on this website – that’s where I’ll announce it when you can expect new work to come out.