Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Butterfly Valley: A Requiem” as Want to Read:
Butterfly Valley: A Requiem
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Butterfly Valley: A Requiem

4.29  ·  Rating Details ·  220 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Inger Christensen, often cited as a Nobel contender and one of Europe's most revered poets, is perhaps best known for her groundbreaking work Det (It), a cycle of poems published in 1969. Her first book published in the U.S., alphabet (New Directions, 2001), met with a tremendous response: "Seductive," said Boston Review. "A visionary reincarnation of the natural world in ...more
Paperback, 69 pages
Published May 25th 2004 by New Directions Publishing Corporation (first published 1991)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Butterfly Valley, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Butterfly Valley

Den lille havfrue by Hans Christian AndersenKongens fald by Johannes V. JensenVed Vejen by Herman BangPræsten i Vejlby by Steen Steensen BlicherEnten-eller by Søren Kierkegaard
Den Danske kulturkanon
9th out of 11 books — 6 voters
Glasswings by Elisa KlevenWalking Disaster by Jamie McGuireBeautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuireButterfly by Sharon SalaA Butterfly Is Patient by Dianna Hutts Aston
55th out of 67 books — 16 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 344)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Imen Benyoub
May 24, 2015 Imen Benyoub rated it it was amazing
Skywards they swirl, the planet’s butterflies,
like coloured dust from earth’s warm tenement:
cinnabar, phosphorus, gold, ochre – they rise
to form a swarm of chemo-elements.

And is this shimmering of wings a seeming
shoal of imagined particles of light?
Is it my summer hour of childhood dreaming
fractured as time-warped lightnings might?

No, it’s light’s angel, able to unveil
itself as black Apollo mnemosyne,
copper, poplar-admiral, swallowtail.

I see them with a mind but half aware
as feathers in a heat-h
Apr 17, 2015 Katharina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Johan Thilander
Jun 21, 2016 Johan Thilander rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Det är inte så förvånansvärt att en så fulländad systempoet som Inger Christensen ger sig på lyrikens kanske svåraste diktform. Det är inte heller särskilt förvånansvärt att hon lyckas så brutalt.

Sidenote: Som någon redan har påpekat så är de danska orden för olika fjärilar väldigt mycket finare än våra svenska.
Lars Poulsen
Aug 08, 2015 Lars Poulsen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“En sonet er et lyrisk og rimet digt på i alt 14 linjer. Derudover følger sonetten også en indre logisk opbygning, som også understreges af sonettens rimskema.”

“[Sonetten] er ofte inddelt i to kvartetter (strofer på fire vers) og to terzetter (strofer på tre vers) eller tre kvartetter og en kuplet (strofe på to vers).”

(Kilde: Wikipedia)

“En sonet-ring eller sonet-krans er en samling af 14 sonetter, som opfylder nogle bestemte formkrav: Sidste linje i sonet 1 er den samme som første linje i sonet
Marcus Uhre
Jul 02, 2016 Marcus Uhre rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Inger Christensen overbeviser med sin klare vision af himlen. En af Danmarks bedste digtere
Martin Ledstrup
Feb 26, 2016 Martin Ledstrup rated it it was amazing
If I could live in literature, if I could make a text into my home, I would live in the The Butterfly Valley. It is the essence of systematic form in poetry: a cycle of 14 sonnets where every first line of each sonnet goes into the final 15th sonnet - which then sums up the entire cycle. But still, like butterflies, the cycle flutters and bursts into formlessness, escaping multiplicity, into the world. It is a very simple text, yet it keeps opening and opening and opening underneath you. How suc ...more
May 03, 2011 Alessandra rated it liked it
Butterfly Valley: A Requiem by Inger Christensen

This work, which deals largely with evanescence and mortality, is
divided into four sections: Butterfly Valley: A Requiem, Watersteps,
Poem on Death and Meeting. True to Christensen’s fidelity to
structure, each section has a distinct structure with a
correspondingly distinct tone. The first section, Butterfly Valley,
has fourteen sonnets, with the last line of each appearing as the
first line of the next. A fifteenth sonnet comprises the first lines
of t
May 25, 2011 Ben rated it it was amazing
it is lonely to think
of death in December
with the clouds shrouding
your house

in the park the threatening
light beneath the trees
all kinds of dead people
wandering the town

one with a fish
that he sorrows over
like a helpless thing
with tears of fishermen

one with the suffering
bird that he carrieds
over his heart
his deceased heart

one with a word
that has lost its object
the surviving words
that the body shakes off

the body whose blood
runs away from its brain
the body whose heart
is cold as a k
Michael Foley
A truly beautiful work from Inger Christensen.

Butterfly Valley: A Requiem is a sonnet cycle where the last line of text in each contributes to the final sonnet. Christensen is using the colors and imagery of the butterflies as an expression of memory. In a similar vein to Proust's "episode" of the madeleine, the butterflies rekindle lost thoughts as they rise from ground.

In Watersteps, Christensen embraces structural changes to describe the fountains of Rome. The depictions begin vividly and b
4 stars, 5 stars? I don't know. I honestly just don't know.

This poetry collection is just beautiful. There is no other word for it. I've read it through twice now and both times, what's really struck me is just how beautifully and seamlessly Christensen's words paint the most stunning and colourful, yet sort of melancholic pitcure of life and death.
I might change my mind and give it 5 stars, because like I said, right now I just don't know.
It i beautiful. And I'm going to buy this book that s
Nov 17, 2014 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Intense and beautiful, this calls out to be set to music
Nov 10, 2015 Linnea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Don't waste your time
Dec 28, 2010 Stina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely stunning and left me utterly speechless
Nov 27, 2009 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Melissa by: Andy, by way of Caryl
Shelves: poetry
I especially liked the last couple sections of this.
Sean rated it liked it
Sep 22, 2016
Sarah Ann
Sarah Ann marked it as to-read
Sep 21, 2016
Mathilde Riemer
Mathilde Riemer rated it it was amazing
Sep 20, 2016
SMD rated it it was amazing
Sep 16, 2016
BookDB marked it as to-read
Sep 15, 2016
Tearsline rated it really liked it
Sep 09, 2016
Signe rated it it was amazing
Sep 04, 2016
Signe Olesen
Signe Olesen rated it liked it
Sep 04, 2016
Emilie Jensen
Emilie Jensen rated it it was amazing
Sep 04, 2016
Alexander Sokol
Alexander Sokol rated it liked it
Aug 28, 2016
Dorthehbmgmail.Com marked it as to-read
Aug 25, 2016
Rebekka Bundgaard
Rebekka Bundgaard rated it it was amazing
Aug 23, 2016
Kate marked it as to-read
Aug 23, 2016
Francys marked it as to-read
Aug 15, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Stigninger og fald
  • Barndommens gade
  • Det nemme og det ensomme
  • Den kroniske uskyld
  • Løgnhalsen fra Umbrien
  • The Liar
  • Erasmus Montanus or Rasmus Berg
  • Ved Vejen
  • Huden er det elastiske hylster der omgiver hele legemet
  • Vangede billeder
  • Penguin's Poems For Love (Penguin Hardback Classics)
  • Min mor siger
  • Hvis det er
  • Niels Lyhne
  • Vandmærket
  • Samlede Strunge
  • Yahya Hassan
  • Liberty
Inger Christensen was born in Vejle, Demark, in 1935. Initially she studied medicine, but then trained as a teacher and worked at the College of Art in Holbæck from 1963–64. Although she has also written a novel, stories, essays, radio plays, a drama and an opera libretto, Christensen is primarily known for her linguistically skilled and powerful poetry.

Christensen first became known to a wider a
More about Inger Christensen...

Share This Book