About the author
Swedish-speaking Finnish author of mainly poetry, but he was also active as a novelist, dramatist, author of children’s books, librettist, critic and translator. Born and growing up in Helsinki, he became a doctor of philosophy on a thesis of Gunnar Björling and was the head librarian of the Helsinki central library. Bo Carpelan always returned to the big questions in life, human flaws, misunderstandings and shortcomings. At the beginning, he wrote in an exalted, modernist style, later developing, via a condensed, sparse style, a more epic and generous language.
About the winning piece
In I de mörka rummen, i de ljusa, Bo Carpelan meanders through his personal experience – he was in his fifties when the collection of poems was published – and finds them closely related to the world surrounding him. In words selected for accuracy and precision, he guides the reader through the landscape of his life, step by step unfolding the story of his family, constantly changing like light, wind and clouds. The collection of poems breaks down barriers between the outer and the inner worlds, and the author concludes that he only has his rooms - some dark, some light - to return to when he wants to reminiscence, speak and write.
I de mörka rummen, i de ljusa
Published by: Schildts
Publication year: 1976
This is what the Adjudicating Committee had to say
In clear and austere lyrics Bo Carpelan manages to express the interplay between the outer and inner reality of a shift between consciousness of death and feeling of life.