Today is the birthday of Danish author and poet Benny Andersen (books by this author), born Vangede, a suburb of Copenhagen (1929). He’s the most popular poet in Denmark — indeed, a national literary hero — but most people in the United States have never heard of him. He worked as a pianist in a bar after he finished school, and published his first book of poetry in 1960. Since then, he has published 21 poetry volumes, as well as screenplays, children’s books, story collections, a novel, and a play. He’s also a musician and a songwriter. He has often collaborated with singer and musician Povl Dissing, and the two released an album, Svantes Viser (1973), with Dissing singing Andersen’s poems. The album has been included in the Danish Culture Canon, a collection of 108 works of excellence in fields like art, architecture, literature, film, and music.
“We have twelve clocks in the house
still it strikes me there’s not enough time
You go out to the kitchen
to get chocolate milk for your spindly son
but when you get back
he has grown too old for chocolate milk
demands beer girls revolution”