Barnet som optik mot världen. Om Ann Jäderlunds barnböcker i förhållande till hennes vuxendiktning

  • Lisa Schmidt
  • Johan Gardfors
Keywords: Ann Jäderlund, poetry for children, concept formation, language and perception, child perspective in poetry, language as optics


’’The child as an optics towards the world. Ann Jäderlund’s poems for children in relation to her poems for adults.’’ In the discussion of the renowned Swedish poet Ann Jäderlund (b. 1955), her two illustrated books of poetry for children have been widely neglected. In this essay, it is argued that these two books, Ivan’s book (Ivans bok, 1987) and Iris’s book (Iris bok, 2002), have a bearing on her poems for adults, and that they should be closely examined by anyone who seeks to understand the poetic practice of Ann Jäderlund. Here, the poetry collection Calendar red. Living of ice (Kalender röd. Levande av is, 2000) is tentatively read in relation to Iris’s book, which was published two years after the former. The essay draws special attention to the literary debut of Ann Jäderlund, Streamer City (Vimpelstaden, 1985), which is a minimalistic and language-reflective poetry collection for adults, published two years before the author’s first children’s book. In Streamer City the subject imitates the perception of a small child, striving to renew or liquify the given concepts, and to create a voice of her own. This perspective is central in Ivan’s book and Iris’s book as well, but from a child’s actual point of view, where the objects are not yet caught in concepts. Here, we analyse poems from the four mentioned poetry collections, focusing on how the subjects describe the world in relation to the normative connection between objects and concepts. We reveal how the poet uses the same images and a similar linguistic theme in these works, especially in Streamer City and Ivan’s book, which creates an interesting bridge between the two poetry collections. We advocate an open perspective concerning target groups, and note how the child’s perspective can be regarded as an optics, through wich we may bring our formation of concepts to light.

Keywords: Ann Jäderlund; poetry for children; concept formation; language and perception; child perspective in poetry; language as optics

(Published: 15 May 2012)

Citation: Barnboken tidskrift för barnlitteraturforskning/Journal of Children’s Literature Research, Vol. 35, 2012

How to Cite
Schmidt, L., & Gardfors, J. (2012). Barnet som optik mot världen. Om Ann Jäderlunds barnböcker i förhållande till hennes vuxendiktning. Barnboken, 35.
Övriga artiklar/Other Articles