Vilhelm Krag

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Vilhelm Krag in 1929.

Vilhelm Krag (24 December 1871 – 10 July 1933) was a Norwegian author.

He is known as the person who coined the term Sørlandet as a region of Norway. Younger brother of the novelist Thomas. Studied at university in Christiania (Oslo). His writing was much influenced by Danish authors, in particular Holger Drachmann. First volume of poetry (1891) included two of his best-known verses: "Fandango" and "Der skreg en Fugl" (A bird cried).

Edvard Grieg wrote compositions for some of his poems (opus 60) for voice and piano.

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By Vilhelm Krag No Jannissarian music!
Silence! In marching rhythms
Silence, damned musicians! Oh the circassians, Oh the circassians
let them appear!
They shall dance on their delicate feet
to softened music
from distant guitars
murmuring, cooing, caressing tones
smiling tones, drifting tones, whispering tones
Tingling soothness :

Crimson red glow in the light hearted dance
radiant draperies with silverclouds slithering
flowing arms, flowing lines, twining its softness
in dance!

A red little ear, a pale little finger
and feet, in their silence, tip-toeing swiftly
their hair, black and silken, sobelfur clad
Riveting russeling, of jewels and stones
and their cheeks, and their eyes!

Zerlina, my bird, no neck is sweeter,
your eye is so black.
But yet, why is it wet, Zerlina?

Zerlina, my bird, your lips are so red,
and round is your cheek,
but why so pale, Zerlina?

Zerlina, my bird, your skin is so soft,
your mouth is like roses
but, why quivers your mouth, Zerlina?
«Oh, master, autumn beckons,
and the roses of Persia are falling.
And the mist is weeping the mouth of the clove
and the leaves are shrivelling, master»

Zerlina, my bird, thanks for your dance
and your word. Now let me be.

It shrivels, it shrivels,
it shrivels, it shrivels
the world, it is shrivelling, and roses and women
my body and every trembling nerve!

And time, it is creeping slowly past me
the hours are wandering past my grave
I dare not think, I dare not live.
Dare not die

But in this mortal, deep night silence
russles an infinite ploversong
It shrivels, it shrivels
it shriv ---
Music! Music! Jannissarian so!
Bring out the big Chinese drum! Translation by Jens Tandstad

Cultural offices
Preceded by
Bjørn Bjørnson
Director of the National Theatre
Succeeded by
Halfdan Christensen

External links[edit]

Poetry Collections

Encyclopedic Discography of Victor Records

Vilhelm Krag at the National Jukebox

Vilhelm Krag at the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project