Song in the Shade
Skuggsång ("Shade Song") is Torgny Lilja's collected poems from 1980 to 1997. A second edition, released in 2010, includes poems from 2000 to 2010 (known as the poet's crossroads period) as well as some of his early works.
The title of the collection refers to a bird's singing to itself in order to practice. A common European songster is the blackbird (Turdus merula), known for its song from tree tops late in the afternoon. It can be observed during all the year both in the countryside and in green areas of the city.
Skuggsång covers three broad themes: love, life (from youth to maturity) and death. Typical is a description of nature reflecting longing and loneliness. There are also poems depicting the modern cityscape.
Lilja masters all kinds of lyrical formats from haiku to Shakespearean sonnet. In "Beauty on Water," he combines descriptions of an idyllic landscape and the city situated at Lake Mälaren:
Whenever I am resting by the stream,
These waves are slowly whispering to my ear...
Like costly jewels, I can watch them gleam
From many miles away, or very near.
The sonnet was published on the website The Lonesome Writer's Lounge in 2002, while Lilja was studying PR & Communications in New York before he was accepted for an internship at The General Consulate of Sweden.
At the consulate they had posters with different motifs from Stockholm, Lilja remembers. "I had never seen any of those before," he says. All posters depicting the capital of Sweden had one thing in common, though: the headline "Beauty on Water."