Bodil Bech

1889 - 1942


Bodil Bech was the daughter of a landowner on Funen, trained as a musician at a music conservatory, studied in New York, and published her debut poetry collection Vi der ejer natten at the age of forty-five after a failed marriage. She became part of the group of surrealist and modernist artists and writers associated with the periodicals linien and konkretion, and her free verse about cosmos and Eros is strong and confident poetry stretched between the female first person’s experience of divine omnipotence and total self-sacrifice.

Liberated desire haunts the poems’ late-Romantic universe, and heavily laden images of the ego’s “electric blue” power unfold, also in her subsequent poetry collections Ildtunger danser, 1935, Granit og Dugg, 1938, Flyvende Hestemanker, 1940, and Ud af Himmelporte, 1941. Her strong interest in visual art can be discerned both in the portrayal of her poems’ characters and in an unprecedented use of epithets, which lend the dream and vision unexpected hues of blues and greens from the surrealist palette.