Benny Andersen (b. 1929) is arguably the foremost and all-time best-selling living poet and lyricist in Denmark. First published in 1960, he has produced 21 volumes of poetry along with numerous records, stories, screenplays and children’s books.
Andersen has won a multitude of major literary prizes including the 2011 Danish Arts Foundation Award for Lifetime Achievement. His collected poems, a tome of 1,200 pages, has sold over 150,000 copies in a country with fewer people than Maryland. An accomplished musician and songwriter, one of his CD’s sold over a half million copies. Danes see him as a genuine literary hero, able to authentically represent their national culture, regarding him as Americans might a cross between Robert Frost and Bob Dylan. Parts of his authorship have been translated into 24 languages, though until our recent publications (Something To Live Up To and Certain Days), little of his poetry was available in English. He lives near Copenhagen.
Excerpt from “Time”
We have twelve clocks in our house
still we don’t have enough time
You go to the kitchen
get chocolate milk for your skinny son
but when you return
he’s gotten too old for chocolate milk
demands beer girls revolution
You’ve got to make use of the time while you’ve got it…
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