Retrogardism and Occulture in Håkan Sandell’s Poetry
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The poetic works of contemporary Swedish poet Håkan Sandell (b. 1962) belong to the current of retrogardism, a poetic style that focuses on premodernist forms and themes. Mining the usefulness of the theoretical construct of occulture, this chapter offers an analysis of several of Sandell’s poems, exploring the shamanic, alchemical, gnostic and magical elements in Sandell’s poetry. A discussion of shamanism shows how the performative aspect of Sandell’s poetry can remind of a form of magical practice. Sandell’s bardic conception of the poet and the importance of music, rhyme and rhythm in (the performance of) poetry reifies the construction of the poet-artist-genius as a special intermediary between different realms or spheres of reality.