For the Swedish poet, essayist and aphorist Vilhelm Ekelund, ensamhet (solitude) and gemenskap (intellectual and spiritual community) were highly complex notions, with various and often contradictory meanings. In this article, I argue that both concepts have positive as well as negative connotations in Ekelund’s texts. Solitude can be sweet and delightful and the poet/writer may long for it, but it can also appear to him as a sordid and painful state. In the same way, life with other people may be just as difficult and complicated. I show that Ekelund as a young poet both embraced solitude as a positive notion and suffered from depressing isolation. The theme of solitude also appeared in his early prose as a heroic stance fitting for an extraordinary person. According to Ekelund, the fate of the truly gifted artist is loneliness, and he will find great difficulties connecting with people around him. In fact, he will find intellectual and spiritual community only when communicating with the great precursors – in Ekelund’s case that meant the prominent figures of Greek and Roman cultural heritage. “Modern” artists interested him only in so much as they openly venerated this classicist tradition. Ekelund may have despaired at the idea of an intellectual or spiritual community with his contemporaries; he was, nevertheless, optimistic regarding the ability of later generations to understand him. He was convinced that he did not write for people in his own time but, indeed, for posterity.