Kärlekens etos i Gösta Ågrens 1960-talslyrik

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Anna Möller-Sibelius
Publisher: Kirjallisuudentutkijain Seura
Publication year: 2017
Journal: Kirjallisuudentutkimuksen Aikakauslehti Avain
Journal acronym: Avain
Volume number: 2017
Issue number: 1
Start page: 22
End page: 37


Gösta Ågren is one of the most appreciated poets in contemporary
Finland-Swedish literature. Nevertheless, his early works dating back to
the 60s have been considered (not least by himself) to be of little
interest. The common opinion is that his engagement with left-wing
politics impoverished the aesthetic aspects of his poetry; when released
from these ideological bonds in the late 1970s he became an important

The aim of this article is to call into question the
reasons put forth by the negligence of his early poetry. Ågren is one of
the earliest examples of the 1960s left-wing movement in
Finland-Swedish poetry, which per se is of literary historical interest.
However, he combines his Marxist perspective with ideas recognizable in
a broader tradition of history of ideas, which makes his ideological
and ethical undertaking complex. In addition, he integrates political
and existential aspects in his poems at an early stage.

In this
article, I examine a central theme in Ågren’s early poetry from the
1960s: love. I relate his thoughts on the topic to various thinkers such
as eodor W. Adorno & Max Horkheimer, R.W. Emerson, C.G. Jung and
Rudolf Steiner. Although love between man and woman in many respects is a
timeless issue, the contextual aspects of love are important in Ågren’s
poems. Furthermore, in his early poetry dating from the rather dystopic
post-war period in Europe love has an emphasized ethical function. In
his efforts to find a solution to the problems of a contemporary world
in distress, the very concept of “woman” becomes a metaphor for ideas
such as peace, hope, love and freedom. Clearly, this is an idealist but
also (more surprisingly) a feminist standpoint.

Last updated on 2020-06-08 at 08:06