Karl Werner Aspenström (13 November 1918 – 25 January 1997) was a Swedish poet.
Born at Norrbärke, he was a member of the Swedish Academy, where he held Seat 12 from 1981 to 1997. Following his breakthrough in 1949 with Snölegend ("Snow legend") he was considered as one of the leading 20th century Swedish poets, and his poetry have often been compared to the works of the nobel prize laureats Harry Martinson and Tomas Tranströmer.
Aspenström claimed that his motivation for writing was "writing for his cat", but apparently hinted that he meant someone else with that.
In 1989, together with Lars Gyllensten and Kerstin Ekman, he resigned from the Swedish Academy because of the academy’s response to the Salman Rushdie controversy, which was perceived as weak. He however claimed that this was not the sole reason for his resignation, but rather one amongst several other.
He was a friend of Stig Dagerman's.
- Förberedelse (1943)
- Oändligt är vårt äventyr (prose, 1945)
- Skriket och tystnaden (1946)
- Snölegend (1949)
- Litania (1952)
- Förebud (1953)
- Hundarna (1954)
- Dikter under träden (1956)
- Bäcken (prose, 1958)
- Motsägelser (essays, 1961)
- Om dagen om natten (1961)
- Trappan (1964)
- Sommar (prose, 1968)
- Inre (1969)
- Under tiden (1972)
- Tidigt en morgon, sent på jorden (1980)
- Sorl (1983)
- Det röda molnet (1986)
- Varelser (1988)
- Enskilt och allmänt (1991)
- Ty (1993)
- Israpport (1997)
- Öva Sitt Eget (2004) (posthumous, co-written with Signe Lund-Aspenström)
- Samlade dikter 1943-1997 (Collected poems 1943-1997, 2014)
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