Keeping to the same theme as yesterday: This is a poem I wrote about Sweden. Again, this was the result of another exercise about home, and the different ways we can show our sense of “home” in poetry.


There is really only one thing I can say to honour my frozen country,
and it is not that we invented the fridge, the dynamite or the safety match
or even the 100 scale Celsius  thermometer, for that we did.

Nor would I mention the people that shaped this world,
From Alfred Nobel to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, from Abba to Basshunter,
From August Strindberg to Stieg Larsson – we have them all.

Nor would I talk about the blonde bombshells that roam our streets – no,
I will talk about a company, which is not H&M, Volvo or Ericsson,
It is the company that brings a piece of Sweden to every home –

Even though there will always be a piece missing, we know you love it,
because you always come back for more.
Our pride and our joy – IKEA

There is not much more I can say about this poem that I did not say yesterday. The main difference is that the Hometown Poem was idyllic whereas this is supposed to be more of a short comical ode, of a sense, or even a doggerel if you will. After living abroad I tried to understand what other nationalities thought of Swedes and Sweden. In the end it all seemed to boil down to the things mentioned in the poem – things which distinguish us from the rest of the world. IKEA, I found, is the most world-renowned “Swedish thing” (no surprise there) so of course the poem had to focus on it. I believe there is no need to explain how the comic value is created because it is rather self evident (by downplaying the value of other valuable things and juxtaposing it with bad personal experience the reader most likely has with IKEA).

This actually reminds me of a surreal poem I wrote. That poem is one of my favourites but, unfortunately, I think it is stuck on my laptop. Silly me for not making a backup on old poetry I never thought I would ever read again.

– F H Hakansson

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