Poetry: Henrik Ibsen - A brother in need - Burnt ships - Gone - In the picture gallery - The miner - Bio data - Links

Posted by ricardo marcenaro | Posted in | Posted on 12:07








Henrik Ibsen (Noruega) by Gustav Borgen NFB-19775


A brother in need

NOW, rallying once if ne'er again,
With flag at half-mast flown,
A people in dire need and strain
Mans Tyra's bastion.

Betrayed in danger's hour, betrayed
Before the stress of strife!
Was this the meaning that it had--
That clasp of hands at Axelstad
Which gave the North new life?

The words that seemed as if they rushed
From deepest heart-springs out
Were phrases, then! -- the freshet gushed,
And now is fall'n the drought.
The tree, that promised rich in bloom
Mid festal sun and shower,
Stands wind-stript in the louring gloom,
A cross to mark young Norway's tomb,
The first dark testing-hour.

They were but Judas kisses, lies
In fatal wreaths enwound,
The cheers of Norway's sons, and cries
Towards the beach of Sound.
What passed that time we watched them meet,
'Twixt Norse and Danish lord?
Oh! nothing! only to repeat
King Gustav's play at Stockholm's seat
With the Twelfth Charles' sword.

"A people doomed, whose knell is rung,
Betrayed by every friend!" --
Is the book closed and the song sung?
Is this our Denmark's end?
Who set the craven colophon,
While Germans seized the hold,
And o'er the last Dane lying prone
Old Denmark's tattered flag was thrown
With doubly crimsoned fold?

But thou, my brother Norsemen, set
Beyond the war-storm's power
Because thou knewest to forget
Fair words in danger's hour:
Flee from thy homes of ancient fame--
Go chase a new sunrise--
Pursue oblivion, and for shame
Disguise thee in a stranger's name
To hide from thine own eyes!

Each wind that sighs from Danish waves
Through Norway's woods of pine,
Of thy pale lips an answer craves:
Where wast thou, brother mine?
I fought for both a deadly fight;
In vain to spy thy prow
O'er belt and fiord I strained my sight:
My fatherland with graves grew white:
My brother, where wast thou?

It was a dream! Arise, awake
To do a nation's deed!
Each to his post, swift counsel take;
A brother is in need!
A nobler song may yet be sung--
Danes, Danes, keep Tyra's hold--
And o'er a Northern era, young
And rich in hope, be proudly flung
The red flag's tattered fold. 





Burnt ships

TO skies that were brighter
Turned he his prows;
To gods that were lighter
Made he his vows.

The snow-land's mountains
Sank in the deep;
Sunnier fountains
Lulled him to sleep.

He burns his vessels,
The smoke flung forth
On blue cloud-trestles
A bridge to the north.

From the sun-warmed lowland
Each night that betides,
To the huts of the snow-land
A horseman rides. 





Gone

THE last, late guest
To the gate we followed;
Goodbye -- and the rest
The night-wind swallowed.

House, garden, street,
Lay tenfold gloomy,
Where accents sweet
Had made music to me.

It was but a feast
With the dark coming on;
She was but a guest --
And now, she is gone. 



Henrik Ibsen 1898


In the picture gallery

WITH palette laden
She sat, as I passed her,
A dainty maiden
Before an Old Master.

What mountain-top is
She bent upon? Ah,
She neatly copies
Murillo's Madonna.

But rapt and brimming
The eyes' full chalice says
The heart builds dreaming
Its fairy-palaces.

* * *

The eighteenth year rolled
By, ere returning,
I greeted the dear old
Scenes with yearning.

With palette laden
She sat, as I passed her,
A faded maiden
Before an Old Master.

But what is she doing?
The same thing still--lo,
Hotly pursuing
That very Murillo!

Her wrist never falters;
It keeps her, that poor wrist,
With panels for altars
And daubs for the tourist.

And so she has painted
Through years unbrightened,
Till hopes have fainted
And hair has whitened.

But rapt and brimming
The eyes' full chalice says
The heart builds dreaming
Its fairy-palaces.



Henrik Ibsen by Gustav Borgen NFB-19778


The miner

BEETLING rock, with roar and smoke
Break before my hammer-stroke!
Deeper I must thrust and lower
Till I hear the ring of ore.

From the mountain's unplumbed night,
Deep amid the gold-veins bright,
Diamonds lure me, rubies beckon,
Treasure-hoard that none may reckon.

There is peace within the deep--
Peace and immemorial sleep;
Heavy hammer, burst as bidden,
To the heart-nook of the hidden!

Once I, too, a careless lad,
Under starry heavens was glad,
Trod the primrose paths of summer,
Child-like knew not care nor cummer.

But I lost the sense of light
In the poring womb of night;
Woodland songs, when earth rejoiced her,
Breathed not down my hollow cloister.

Fondly did I cry, when first
Into the dark place I burst:
"Answer spirits of the middle
Earth, my life's unending riddle!--"

Still the spirits of the deep
Unrevealed their answer keep;
Still no beam from out the gloomy
Cavern rises to illume me.

Have I erred? Does this way lead
Not to clarity indeed?
If above I seek to find it,
By the glare my eyes are blinded.

Downward, then! the depths are best;
There is immemorial rest.
Heavy hammer burst as bidden
To the heart-nook of the hidden!--

Hammer-blow on hammer-blow
Till the lamp of life is low.
Not a ray of hope's fore-warning;
Not a glimmer of the morning.



Henrik Ibsen - Erik Werenskiold, «Henrik Ibsen», 1895.


Henrik Johan Ibsen (/ˈɪbsən/;[1] Norwegian: [ˈhɛnɾɪk ˈɪpsən]; 20 March 1828 – 23 May 1906) was a major 19th-century Norwegian playwright, theatre director, and poet. He is often referred to as "the father of realism" and is one of the founders of Modernism in theatre.[2] His major works include Brand, Peer Gynt, An Enemy of the People, Emperor and Galilean, A Doll's House, Hedda Gabler, Ghosts, The Wild Duck, Rosmersholm, and The Master Builder. He is the most frequently performed dramatist in the world after Shakespeare,[3][4] and A Doll's House became the world's most performed play by the early 20th century.[5]

Several of his later dramas were considered scandalous to many of his era, when European theatre was expected to model strict morals of family life and propriety. Ibsen's later work examined the realities that lay behind many façades, revealing much that was disquieting to many contemporaries. It utilized a critical eye and free inquiry into the conditions of life and issues of morality. The poetic and cinematic early play Peer Gynt, however, has strong surreal elements.[6]

Ibsen is often ranked as one of the truly great playwrights in the European tradition.[7] Richard Hornby describes him as "a profound poetic dramatist—the best since Shakespeare".[8] He is widely regarded as the most important playwright since Shakespeare.[7][9] He influenced other playwrights and novelists such as George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, Arthur Miller, James Joyce, Eugene O'Neill and Miroslav Krleža.

Ibsen wrote his plays in Danish (the common written language of Denmark and Norway)[10] and they were published by the Danish publisher Gyldendal. Although most of his plays are set in Norway—often in places reminiscent of Skien, the port town where he grew up—Ibsen lived for 27 years in Italy and Germany, and rarely visited Norway during his most productive years. Born into a merchant family connected to the patriciate of Skien, his dramas were shaped by his family background. He was the father of Prime Minister Sigurd Ibsen. Ibsen's dramas continue in their influence upon contemporary culture and film with notable film productions including A Doll's House featuring Jane Fonda and A Master Builder featuring Wallace Shawn.

More:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henrik_Ibsen









Poetry: Henrik Ibsen - A brother in need - Burnt ships - Gone - In the picture gallery - The miner - Bio data - Links




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