Tarkovsky's Horses and Other Poems
Pia Tafdrup writes: '"Tarkovsky's Horses" is about loss in a double sense. The themes of the poems are my father's increasing forgetfulness, his loss of his faculties and then my loss of a father. The book is a poetic portrayal of the course of an illness for which science has few words - my father begins to suffer from dementia, and then he has to go into a nursing home, where he dies. Disintegration of identity and its inexorable progress are followed through every phase, in a concrete and naked form that makes use of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. The poems about a father who forgets more and more are set in a border landscape which is also not without its comical aspects. The poems narrate the drama of what it is to be a human being.'
Pia Tafdrup was born in 1952 in Copenhagen. She has published over 20 books in Danish since her first collection appeared in 1981, and her work has been translated into many languages. Her fourth collection, "Spring Tide", was published in English by Forest in 1989. In 1991 she published a celebrated statement of her poetics, "Walking Over Water". She received the 1999 Nordic Council Literature Prize - Scandinavia's most prestigious literary award - for "Queen's Gate", which was published in David McDuff's English translation by Bloodaxe in 2001. Also in 2001, she was appointed a Knight of the Order of Dannebrog, and in 2006 she received the Nordic Prize from the Swedish Academy. Her latest work translated into English is "Tarkovsky's Horses and other poems" (Bloodaxe Books, 2010), combining "The Whales in Paris" (2002) and "Tarkovsky's Horses" (2006).