Nordic Accordion: Poems In A Scandinavian Mood - Paperback

Nordic Accordion: Poems In A Scandinavian Mood

Sutter, Bart

All of Bart Sutter's grandparents spoke Swedish.

In his earliest years, he heard old people talk Norwegian in farm kitchens and on the streets in town, and there were Finns, Danes, and Icelanders in the neighborhood, too. The music of these Nordic languages got inside Sutter's head; he also inherited the homesickness of old-timers who spoke about a legendary land they called The Old Country. In Nordic Accordion Sutter fulfills the covenant he made with his elders long ago--to dramatize, critique, and honor their struggles, their culture, their peculiar ways. The book explores the experience of Scandinavian immigrants, their ancestors, and their descendants.

A few of the stories to be found in Nordic Accordion:
- A Swedish runaway listens to Italian opera while gutting fish.
- Two old Norwegians meet at a funeral, and romance results.
- Icelanders drop over a cliff to collect seabird eggs.
- An American writer speaks to a dead Finnish poet and invites her home.

At the heart of the book lies a cycle of dramatic monologues by old women about their half-pagan younger years as cowherds in the mountain pasture camps of Sweden. ''This,'' says David Ray of Sutter's work, ''is poetic storytelling at its best.''


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