Kirsten Savitri Bergh was born in Minneapolis on July 7th 1979, into a loving and passionate family. She attended the Minnesota Waldorf School from kindergarten through to grade eight. Her family's passion, and her Waldorf education led to Kirsten developing a love of literature, writing, and the arts very early on in life.
Before her freshman year of high school Kirsten attended a Waldorf school in France, where her parents worked and lived for a year. She quickly immersed herself in the French language, and literature. Most of all she embraced poetry, which she revelled in reciting. Upon returning to America Kirsten began to carry what she called an "idea book" with her everywhere she went. In it she would capture thoughts and words as they were born, before they could be lost to her.
Kirsten’s father died suddenly when she was 16. And she found herself struggling to cope with the reality of not being able to say goodbye to someone who was an ingrained part of her. Her view on the world changed dramatically through this experience. The most important healing gradually took place through Kirsten’s poetry and journaling. She searched deep inside her being to find her center. Through poetry Kirsten was able to grapple with grief and find peace and joy.
In the summer of 1996 Kirsten was one of the youngest attendees at a Waldorf conference, the purpose of the conference being to expand upon spiritual, artistic, and natural curriculum for young adults. Upon returning from the conference Kirsten made the decision to complete her high school education at a Waldorf high school. This resulted in her, and a close friend Nina Dietzel moving to rural New York. They attended Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School, boarding together with the same family. Kirsten thrived in the new situation.
Kirsten Bergh and Nina Dietzel died suddenly on November 29 1996, when their car slid out of control on black ice, and into the path of an oncoming sixteen wheeler. Kirsten’s mother was visiting for thanksgiving and was the sole survivor of the accident.
Kirsten left a legacy of art and poetry, which weave a rich tapestry of joy, beauty and inner transformation. After her death Kirsten’s mother gathered together the poetry in the sequence in which they were written, adding Kirsten’s artwork to reflect the mood of the pages. The published result was She Would Draw Flowers. A breath of joy which hovers lingering through to the very last poem.
Her mother found answers in the poems that Kirsten left behind. She published the volume in the hope that others would also experience the comfort, inspiration and hope that she found, and continues to find within Kirsten’s poetry. Poetry was among the few tangibles she could hold onto to remember her daughter. And the profound path of inner transformation shared in the poems served as a guide for her to let go of the pain.
This small volume of poetry is brimming with young poems, which depend on the strength of sudden awakenings. Kirsten’s poetry is fresh, expressing new perceptions of the world, from a new emerging self. Her words reflect sincerity and passion. They are written with refreshing quality of directness, while remaining youthful and dreamy.
Upon receiving a copy of Kirsten’s book from an American exchange student, my passion of poetry was awoken from a year or so of hibernation. She Would Draw Flowers is filled with light, and completely down-to-earth. Every word touches me. Her poems echo intense hope, and share a way of penetrating through grief and loss, to confirm that love remains the strongest thread in the fabric of life. I only wish I could weave such beauty into my poetry. I will never give up trying. Thank you Kirsten. Your memory lives on.
“But death won’t stop us, it’s only another lake to swim, another slight climb before the next mountain peak. But ‘til then, ‘til tomorrow, I’ll remember to love the snow and you’ll begin to love skirts over sorrels and the world and life will hold us like a mother.”
-Kirsten Savitri Bergh (a section of the letter to Nina, written the day before they died)
She Would Draw Flowers, printed in 1997 by Sentinel Printing, St. Cloud, MN