Feel the fear and do it anyway

drawing strength from Søren Kierkegaard and Louise Glück in existentialist pandemic times


  • Jytte Holmqvist University of Central Lancashire




Kierkegaard, Gluck, existentialism, solace, acceptance


This poetic analysis queries what it means to be human and alive at a time of interrupted pandemic realities. We draw a link between Søren Kierkegaard and our contemporary Louise Glück in their focus on an individual battling with fears, who goes their own way defying norms and conventions. How does Kierkegaard in The lily of the field and the bird of the air (1849) metaphorically show us the way to finding inner peace and a sense of solace in that which is supposedly less, and teach us to appreciate the divinity found in nature? What does Glück teach us about resilience in collections of poetry The wild iris (1992) and Averno (2006)? How do the two thematically converge and indirectly advocate for a life of stoic resilience where, with individual freedom as our end goal, we learn to endure anguish and pain – embracing suffering as a way forward?


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