Verner von Heidenstam was a Swedish nobleman, author and poet. He was a member of the Swedish Academy from 1912 to 1940 and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1916.
Albert Bonniers Publishers describes him as "our last national figure, this remarkable person who was an admired cultural leader but also slandered and persecuted."
In his day, he was one of Sweden's elite writers, comparable to August Strindberg and Gustaf Fröding. Today he is largely forgotten.
Heidenstam made his debut in 1888 with the collection of poems Migration speed and year, and his last collection came to be New poems which was published in 1915 by Bonniers. New poems is considered by many to be his greatest work.
New Poems is "a large-scale and powerful collection, whose oldest pieces are connected with Heidenstam's historical epic or Poems of 1895 (...) but whose younger poems belong to a later epoch. The form is classically pure, simple and unadorned, often rhymeless and ostrophe-like, and expresses moods and thoughts of exalted serenity, of manly seriousness and warm interiority, broad and bright humanity, the unworldly value of existence and the sadness of approaching the twilight of old age" (quote from Nordisk familjebok, vol. 36, (1924) "Heidenstam").
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