Norwegian / Norway
Eg er eg er eg er. Dikt for barn
(I am I am I am. Poems for children)
Johnsen, Mari Kanstad (illus.)
Oslo: Samlaget, 2016. – 55 p.
Seasons | Everyday life | Poetry
Reading age: 10+
White Ravens issue: 2017
“Eg er eg er eg er” is a collection of 39 poems in which a first-person persona – a girl – talks about herself and her life. Many of the poems recall situations from her daily life at school or with her family, as well as observations of nature, but thanks to author Ruth Lillegraven’s virtuosity of sound and metaphors, these situations are effortlessly moved beyond their ordinariness; e.g. in the poem “Alt brenn” (Everything is burning), which describes a shimmering hot day in late summer: „nokon sette ei fyrstikk / borti sommaren / skogen og trea og / blada flamma opp / alt blei gult / og gulare / enn gulast / det er eg“ (someone has struck a match / and touched summer / setting fire to the woods and the trees / and the leaves / everything’s turned yellow / and yellower than yellow / this is me). The heat and the power of the colours become tangible in the poem. The few flat illustrations by Mari Kanstad Johnson provide a bold-coloured framework for the poems, mark breaks, and at the same time build up an intensity that perfectly matches the atmosphere of the texts.