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Siv Cedering

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Siv Cedering

Born in Sweden on February 5, 1939, 30 kilometers north of the arctic circle, Siv Cedering immigrated to San Francisco at the age of fourteen and became an American citizen five years later.

She is the author of eighteen books of poetry and fiction, most recently Vixen (2007, Pushcart Press), and Letters from an Observatory: New and Selected Poems, 1973-1998 (1998). She has written for both adults and children, in both English and Swedish, and is also a prolific translator, composer, and visual artist.

Her paintings have appeared in a number of one-woman shows; and she has created poetry sculptures, large outdoor installations that include a poem or a poetic fragment. In her collection Cup of Cold Water (1973), Cedering paired her poems with her photographs. She also has illustrated several of her books, including The Blue Horse and Other Night Poems (1978), Polis, polis, potatisgris (1985), and Grisen far till Paris (1987).

Usually written in the first person, Cedering's poems often deal with the erotic and the sensuous realm. In her recent work, she has mixed elements of science and myth. Published in many anthologies and journals, her poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The New Republic, and The Paris Review.

Her many grants and awards include the William Marion Reedy Award from the Poetry Society of America, a Pushcart Prize, and an Emily Dickinson Award. She died in her home in Amagansett, New York, on November 17, 2007.

by this poet

poem

I

When I fall asleep 
my hands leave me.

They pick up pens 
and draw creatures 
with five feathers 
on each wing.

The creatures multiply.
They say: "We are large 
like your father's 
hands."

They say: "We have 
your mother's 
knuckles."

I speak to them:
"If you are hands, 
why don't you 
touch