They are also saying ....

STOFT

Dust of our Being  by Arthur Antonius Anderson

 

Arthur Anderson immigrated from Sweden and rose in his lifetime to become the Swedish Consul for  Winnipeg. 

 

"Stoft", a collection of poems was published in Swedish by Dahl's Printing in Winnipeg.  This translation of Stoft was commissioned by author’s grand-daughter Laurel Anderson McCallum to show her love and respect for her grandfather by having his poems translated from the Swedish to English.

Laurel writes, “A while ago, after picking up the old book of Swedish poetry - "Stoft," I felt it was time to understand what his words were saying”. The translation was done by Ellen Boryen of the Winnipeg Scandinavian Centre. Boryen writes, “I was in Sweden when I was commissioned to translate “Stoft” into English. At first it was to be something for the family to remember him by but it gradually turned out to be much more than that....Most of the poems are about his life as an immigrant...the dreams, the struggles... it is all there. Reaching back to his heritage he writes:

 

            “True Swedishness is rooted deep in your chest,

              in your soul’s fortress temple.

              It speaks with the ancestor’s mighty voice

              and calls for a higher example.

              The heritage you got from the grandiose tribe

              calls you to fight for truth and for right.

              everything noble you defend!

              Then you honour your tribe and Sweden.”

 

McCallum remembers her grand-father as a kindly gentle man. A lover of music, his family and their cottage. She writes:

“I was about 8 years old visiting at the Lake Bereton cottage. Grandpa Art asked me to go for a boat ride... we flew over the fantastic blue-black water. I remember it wasn’t long before I saw a wall of tall green bulrushes rising out of the water ahead.

How strange, I thought. Grandpa cut the motor and we began effortlessly gliding along the water channels between the reeds. 

I will never forget it - it took my breath away. The  reeds were towering over our boat: I felt protected, yet hidden from the vast lake..

It held for me a promise of fairy worlds where everything remarkable would forever exist...”

 

Hazel Lauttamus Birt

Manitoba Writers Guild