Naheed Patel at The Quarterly Conversation:
The strange and ferocious narrative voice of The Third Millennium Heart, of both victim and abuser; the poet’s rejection of a normative structure; her antipathy towards the ubiquitous pressure of being a likeable female; her disruptive vision of human beings as human-animal-machine hybrids—qualifies Olsen as a foremother, in my view.
And helping Olsen to become canon is the English translation by Katrine Ogaard Jensen, who makes sure that the language remains as undomesticated as the poetry itself. Friedrich Schleiermacher, in a seminal lecture to the Berlin Academy of Sciences, titled “On The Different Methods of Translation”, said: “Either the translator leaves the writer in peace as much as possible and moves the reader toward him, or he leaves the reader in peace as much as possible and moves the writer toward him.” In her translator’s note, Jensen mentions that she breaks lines when she susses the opportunity for wordplay, and to accommodate the victim/abuser ambiguity of the third millennium heart character. Inventing words with meticulous boldness, Jensen never wastes an opportunity to jar the reader out of complacent comprehension. The resulting lexicon is bizarre and beautiful: namedrunk, exobrain, exoheart, sweat-embroidery, society-suckling, heavenmechanic, soulfisherman, paranoia-carcass, etc.—and makes it quite clear to the reader that leaving them in peace was never on the table.