Introduction & Overview of Lepidopterology

Jesper Svenbro
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Lepidopterology Summary & Study Guide Description

Lepidopterology Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Bibliography on Lepidopterology by Jesper Svenbro.

Jesper Svenbro has been one of the leading poets in his native Sweden since he published his second collection of poetry in 1979. His poems are evocative and engaging, rich with allusions ranging from classical mythology to the landscape of Scandinavia to poets such as the ancient Greek Sappho and the modernist T. S. Eliot. An accomplished classical scholar who lives and works in Paris, Svenbro addresses philosophical, psychological, linguistic, and political themes in such a way that they are accessible to the average student but are also provocative for the most learned readers.

Svenbro made his debut in the English language with poems such as “Lepidopterology,” which was originally published in the fall 1999 issue of Chicago Review and is also included in Three-toed Gull (2003), Svenbro's first poetry collection translated into English. With its extended comparison of the human psyche to the various stages of the butterfly's life cycle, “Lepidopterology” is a vivid poem that profoundly explores psychology, language, and science. Dramatizing what Svenbro in the poem calls “the seemingly insoluble conflict between dream and reality,” “Lepidopterology” depicts the caterpillar's process of ceasing to eat and beginning to spin its cocoon—which Svenbro characterizes as an act of “total resignation”—as well as the butterfly's emergence from its pupa. These rich metaphors compare the butterfly's flight to the miracle of human psychology as well as the ability of a poem to burst outside the confines of language.

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This section contains 238 words
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