To the Star (Til Stjernen) by Henrik Ibsen

Pallid star! Despatch a sign
From the heights eternal!
For the soul´s eye twinkle, shine
Friendly, though supernal!
Must thy symbolled message seek
To rouse yearning merely?
Teach me so that I may tweak
Futureí´s veil, see clearly!
Sweep misgiving´s cloud forlorn
From a soul that´s ailing,
Let a blest assurance dawn
Through the gloom prevailing!
Ah, but all too rash, my plea;
Dare I ask assurance!
Can a son of earth soar free
From his earthly durance?
O, what comfort had I known
With faith´s beam to guide me!
I must feed on hope alone,
Certainty denied me.
So when heaven´s feeble light
From afar shines palely,
I´ll watch gladly in the night
For my star to hail me.
(Dedicated to C:E:)
By Henrik Ibsen
(Translated by John Northam)
Poems from the Grimstad (southern Norway) peroid
from the years 1848-1850
While still at Grimstad Ibsen put together a small collection of poems in the hope that it would be published. He was, in the event, disappointed. C:E: was Clara Ebbell, Ibsens current girlfriend. Tact, or perhaps caution, caused him to substitute “Blege” (pale) for the “Klara” (clear) in the draft. He later sent back six poems dedicated to her.
Henrik Johan Ibsen (20 March 1828 – 23 May 1906) was a major 19th-century Norwegian playwright, theatre director, and poet. Several of Ibsen´s plays were considered scandalous to many of his era, when European theatre was required to model strict morals of family life and propriety. Ibsen´s 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. Ibsen is often ranked as one of the truly great playwrights in the European tradition. Richard Hornby describes him as “a profound poetic dramatist – the best since Shakespeare”. He influenced other playwrights and novelists such as George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, Arthur Miller, and James Joyce.
Share if Thou Wilt...Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *