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Tove Ditlevsen

  • A whore is a woman who does it for money, which seems to me much more understandable than to do it for free.

    • Tove Ditlevsen,
    • in Tiina Nunnally, trans., Early Spring ()
  • Down in the bottom of my childhood my father stands laughing.

    • Tove Ditlevsen,
    • in Tiina Nunnally, trans., Early Spring ()
  • [On her mother:] My relationship with her is close, painful, and skaky, and I always have to keep searching for a sign of love. Everything I do, I do to please her, to make her smile, to ward off her fury. This work is extremely exhausting ...

    • Tove Ditlevsen,
    • in Tiina Nunnally, trans., Early Spring ()
  • Childhood is long and narrow like a coffin, and you can't get out of it on your own.

    • Tove Ditlevsen,
    • in Tiina Nunnally, trans., Early Spring ()
  • ... my childhood grew thin and flat, paperlike. It was tired and threadbare, and in low moments it didn't look like it would last until I was grown up.

    • Tove Ditlevsen,
    • in Tiina Nunnally, trans., Early Spring ()
  • ... my poems covered the bare places in my childhood like the fine, new skin under a scab that hasn't yet fallen off completely.

    • Tove Ditlevsen,
    • in Tiina Nunnally, trans., Early Spring ()
  • ... memory, that library of the soul from which I will draw knowledge and experience for the rest of my life.

    • Tove Ditlevsen,
    • in Tiina Nunnally, trans., Early Spring ()
  • I fear / the place I have / in the memory of others. / They remind me of things / I myself have forgot.

    • Tove Ditlevsen,
    • "Self Portrait 4," in Joanna Bankier and Deirdre Lashgari, eds., Women Poets of the World ()

Tove Ditlevsen, Danish poet

(1918 - 1976)