Tomten (poem)

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Tomten, also known as "Midvinternattens köld är hård", is a poem written by Viktor Rydberg, and originally published in Ny Illustrerad Tidning in 1881. While outwardly being an idyllic Christmas poem, the poem asks about the meaning of life.

A short film, Tomten, was recorded in 1941 by Gösta Roosling, where Hilda Borgström reads the entire poem.[1]

Lotta Engberg's 2009 Christmas album Jul hos mig closes with a final, hidden, bonus track with Sven Wollter reading the poem.[2]

The poem has also been recorded as an audio book, with Torgny Lindgren reading it.[3][4]

In English[edit]

Rydberg's poem has been translated into English by Charles Wharton Stork,[5] Anna Krook,[6] Elias Gordon[7] and Judith Moffett.[8] In 1961 Astrid Lindgren published a prose version of the story with illustrations by Harald Wiberg.[9][10]

Set to music[edit]


  1. ^ Hilda Borgström reads Tomten Retrieved: December 29, 2013.
  2. ^ "Jul hos mig" (in Swedish). Svensk mediedatabas. 2009. Retrieved 12 December 2013. 
  3. ^ Viktor Rydberg, Torgny Lindgren (2003). Tomten. Pan hörböcker. 
  4. ^ Torgny Lindgren reads Tomten Retrieved: December 29, 2013.
  5. ^ Anthology of Swedish lyrics by Charles Wharton Stork, (New York: The American-Scandinavian Foundation, 1917).
  6. ^ Songs of the North by Anna Krook, (Helsingfors, Söderström & Co., 1926).
  7. ^ Bards of the North by Elias Gordon, (New York: American Cultural Federation Press, 1936).
  8. ^ The North! to the North! by Judith Moffett, (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2001).
  9. ^ The Tomten by Astrid Lindgren, (New York: Coward-McCann, 1961).
  10. ^ Astrid Lindgren adaptation Retrieved: December 31, 2013.

External links[edit]