Helge Slaatto performing fuglens flugt at the Vagn Steen memorial exhibition last Friday.

The background is a large print of one of his poems. A digital version of the poem/pattern, as well as a short commentary1 by the poet himself, can be found on CYF’s afsnit P.

And that reminds me of Mariko Kosaka’s knitting patterns.

  1. Typewriter text can be printed in various ways. On a typewriter “treret” (three plain) and “3vrang” (three purl) both fill 6 places, they are precisely the same width. But when printed in booktype that’s not the case.

    I’m not sure how well that suggests a section of a knitted sweater.

    In that case one could talk of a double-reality: both sweater and poem. And I could find a typeface more curly or ‘woven’.

    For me it’s forst and foremost a pattern, a form-poem.

    I ‘read it as a poem’.

    Had I had a computer in 1962, I would surely have presented it with the most ‘patterned’ font I could find. 

“DU VAGN GAV UD” is the title of the Danish Authors’ Society’s memorial exhibition in honour of Vagn Steen. A palindrome of course – the kind of thing Vagn loved to play with.

It reminded me of a StackOverflow discussion I came across on Twitter recently – on how “()()” is not a palindrome, but “())(” is.

Catch the bird, you don’t catch its flight
Preparing for tomorrow’s concert with Helge Slaatto


Violinist Helge Slaatto will be performing a new version of fuglens flugt at the Danish Authors’ Society this coming Friday 3 March at 19:00. The concert, which also includes a performance of the Lydfabet as well as talks by Lars Bukdahl and Tania Ørum, is part of a five day memorial exhibition held in honour of Vagn Steen. The full program is available on their website.

Vagn Steen’s funeral service was held this afternoon.

Along with the version of the Lydfabet based around his name, I pieced together a more compact version of fuglens flugt to be played at the service:

fuglens flugt

Vagn was a strong presence in life, someone good at setting those he came into contact with in motion – as many remarked. After the service, with everyone gathered around in the afternoon sun to watch the hearse being driven away, it struck me how useful that moment is in saying goodbye. A simple event that makes it clear that someone is moving on.