A Sudden Sky: Selected Poems


111 pages
ISBN 1-894078-18-7
DDC 839.8'1174





Edited by Edited and translated by Patrick Friesen and Per K. Brask

Olga Costopoulos teaches English at the University of Alberta.


The poems in this collection are selected from Ulrikka Gernes’s nine
previously published volumes, dating back to 1984. I do not read Danish,
so I cannot comment on the quality of the translation. However, if
Patrick Friesen has taken as much care with this as he does with his own
work, we should be able to assume that the translation is first-rate. A
Sudden Sky is important not only as a collection of mostly very fine
poems, but also as an archeology of the strata of development of a poet.
While the earlier collections have yielded some gems, there is an
infelicitous preoccupation with a few images, and Gernes reads like a
Canadian of the “blood, breath and bone” school, with the addition
of a lot of images of ashes, skies, and angels. The later poems are what
make the collection worth owning. Gernes seems to have matured into a
thoughtful poet who can write about the world with a fresh body of


Gernes, Ulrikka S., “A Sudden Sky: Selected Poems,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 25, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/9431.