Karl Ove Knausgard 2012 Copy MT Slanzi

Poetry Thursday – Karl Ove Knausgaard

Post Series: Poetry Thursday

Karl Ove Knausgaard writes what he sees, in great, great detail. And one of his books, so I had heard, has become an unexpected classic. So I bought his new one. It’s called “Autumn.” 

Right away, I came across the following description of his garden—a passage that reminds me of the convoluted and mysterious arc of healing.
“…One of the apple trees was in pretty bad shape, many of the branches were dead, it seemed stiff and lifeless, but then I pruned it earlier this summer, which I’ve never done before, and I grew so eager I kept cutting and cutting without stopping to look how it was turning out, until finally, late in the evening, I climbed down and took a few steps back to look at it. Maimed was the word that came to mind. But the branches have grown back, densely covered with leaves, and the tree is loaded with apples. That’s the experience I’ve gained from working in the garden: there’s no reason to be cautious or anxious about anything, life is so robust, it seems to come cascading, blind and green, and at times it is frightening, because we too are alive, but we live in what amounts to a controlled environment, which makes us fear whatever is blind, wild, chaotic, stretching towards the sun, but most often also beautiful, in a deeper way than the purely visual, for the soil smells of rot and darkness, teems with scuttling beetles and convulsing worms, the flower stalks are juicy, their petals brim with scents, and the air, cold and sharp, warm and humid, filled with sunrays or rain, lies against skin, accustomed to the indoors, like a soothing compress of hereness.”

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