Swedish For Immigrants – Week 14

Sometimes you get lucky.

Another Friday test today. I’m guessing (optimistically) I might have gotten 70% correct, but last week I scored 85%. A miracle. First good score I’ve had since I began.
After the test I stopped by the liquor store for some beer, but it had not opened yet, so I walked over to the library to kill some time. I ended up browsing in the “Free Used Books’ section and noticed this amazing title: Svenska för invandrare. Swedish for Immigrants? Incredible. I grabbed it and took it home for my wife to help me translate. Below is the first poem. It totally blew me away.


From: Swedish For Immigrants – Published by Immigrant Institute
ISBN 91-85242-08-X
Suddenly I am a Foreigner
Binnie Kristal-Anderson

Suddenly I am a foreigner
suddenly I am alone
in a foreign country
foreign eyes
staring at me.
I try to look friendly
I try to explain
with my quiet humble eyes
why I am here
in your country old lady
who sits beside me on the bus
and stares at me angrily.
Why do you look so angry?
I know that I don’t
look exactly
like the others
I know I cannot speak
your language
as well as you
but believe me, old lady
I want to love you
and your country
if you do not count me out
before I get
a chance.

About Bruce Louis Dodson

Bruce Louis Dodson is an American expat now living in Borlänge, Sweden with his wife, cat and dog. He is an artist and world traveler who writes fiction and poetry and practices photography in his less than copious free time. His work has appeared in: Barely South Review - Boundaries Issue, Blue Collar Review, Pulsar Poetry (UK), Foliate Oak, Breadline Press West Coast Anthology . The E-buffet, Qarrtsiluni, Struggle Magazine, Pearl Literary Magazine, Contemporary Literature Review: India, 3rd Wednesday, Sleeping Cat Books - Trip of a Lifetime Anthology, Northern Liberties Review, Authors Abroad - Foreign & and Far Away Anthology, The Path, Page & Spine, The Crucible, Sleeping Cat Books -Trips of a Lifetime, Vine Leaves, Pirene's Fountain,Tic Toc Anthology - Kind of a Hurricane Press, Cordite Poetry Review, Buffalo Almanac and mgv2.
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9 Responses to Swedish For Immigrants – Week 14

  1. Slow and steady wins the race. Well done Bruce! You are starting to look like a bit of a Swede to me.

  2. Gyslaine L. says:

    congratulations Bruce 🙂

  3. I’m sure you did well in the test..take it nice and easy..great find in the library..was it meant to be?
    Great read, Bruce.

  4. Congrats on the test. Major congrats on that find in the library–a perfect immigrant’s poem.

    • bldodson says:

      @ Myrah,
      Thanks. I think I’m going to post one more of hers. I thought they were written by an immigrant, but I looked her up on the internet and found out Binnie Kristal-Anderesson
      is from New York. She married a Swede. She is now a psychiatrist in Stockholm. Speaks four languages, wrote several books, and has all kinds of kudos.
      Specializes in working with immigrants and people with stress and trauma problems.

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