Rolf Jacobsen´s twelve poetry collections have made him one of our most important poets, even internationally. Throughout his authorship he showed a peculiar ability to provide modern society with a poetic expression.
A reading guide is now available on the web for selected poems of Jacobsen. It´s called North in the World, selected poems of Rolf Jacobsen, by award winning American poet Roger Greenwald.
On the occasion of Jacobsen’s publication in paperback by the University of Chicago Press in the fall of 2015, and with the encouragement of NORTANA (Norwegian Researchers and Teachers Association of North America), Greenwald decided to try to write a guide that could help students, reading circles, and individual readers to explore and appreciate Jacobsen’s poetry.
Greenwald worked with Jacobsen himself to correct errors that had crept into the Norwegian texts over the years. An in-depth introduction by Greenwald highlights the main features of Jacobsen’s poetry.
Most reading guides are for fiction or non-fiction.
According to Greenwald, it was a challenge to find a way to write one for a book that contains 121 poems. Translated poems, no less (the book includes the Norwegian poems on facing pages).
The guide approaches the work through discussion of six key poems and suggests that readers read thirty-seven others, most of which are one page long or less.
Greenwald received the 2004 Lewis Galantière Award of the American Translators Association for his work with this book.