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Lillian here, delighted to host Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe.

My husband and I just returned from a wonderful trip to the British Isles that ended in Bergen, Norway. From there we took a glorious seven-hour train ride through the mountains and fjords to Oslo, the capital of Norway. The scenery was incredible! We started at the base of the mountains with villages, towns, and beautiful mountain lakes. Then we climbed to what seemed the top of the world. Our eyes were actually bothered by the glare from the bright sun on the snow covered ground – house and hut roofs piled with snow. And then back down we went, past more beautiful green, deep blue mountain lakes and rushing waterfalls… all the way to the city of Oslo.

We spent three days in Oslo. If you ever go there, I highly recommend the Café Engebret for dinner. It’s the oldest restaurant in Oslo, serving food since 1857. Some of its famous patrons from the past include Henrik Ibsen, Edvard Grieg and Edvard Munch. All had regular tables in the cafe. So many times, a restaurant’s food does not measure up to the restaurant’s longstanding historical importance. I guarantee the food here is delicious! And we enjoyed our meal outside, in the garden seating area. Delightful.

We spent an entire day at the National Museum in Oslo. It contains Norway’s largest collection of art, architecture and design. The museum was closed for some time as it consolidated artifacts from exhibitions around the country and moved them into their beautiful new building in June of 2022. While there, we saw a special exhibit of the artist Thorvald Hellesen (1888 – 1937). We enjoyed the exhibit immensly and found his personal history most interesting. Born in Kristiania (now Oslo), his father was a barrister on the Supreme Court and his mother was the daughter of Norway’s Prime Minister. After serving one year in the military, Hellesen decided to become an artist and enrolled in the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. His debut exhibition in Kristiania (Oslo) in 1919, was met with many disparaging comments including “colour orgies . . . hurled at the wall.” He never again exhibited in Norway, moving to Paris at the age of 23. He stayed there the rest of his life, joining the circles of Picasso and other Cubists who overturned the norms of art. Cubism, it is said, revolutionized the representation of reality. Hellesen eventually exhibited art at The Salon exhibitions in Paris and participated in the Section d’Ors exhibitions. In addition to paintings, he designed posters, textile patterns and worked with interior design. One hundred and four years after his fatal debut in Kristiania, Hellesen was vindicated. This is the first museum exhibition devoted to Norway’s first consistent Cubist and it marks his triumphant return to Oslo (Kristiania)!

Below are five portraits we viewed in the Museum, all painted by Hellesen.

“Portrait of Sylvia Schou” painted in 1911:

“Portrait of Halvor John Schou” also painted in 1911:

The next three are in the Cubist tradition.
“Suitor. Figure with Bouquet” painted in 1917-1918:


“Portrait of Eivind Eckbo” painted in 1914:

“Portrait of Mary Alice Eckbo” painted in 1914:

Choose one of these paintings from above, and create a poem motivated by the portrait. There is no required poetic form. This is a very open prompt, simply requiring the use of one of Hellesen’s portraits as a jumping off point for your creativity. Of course, somewhere in your post, you must give credit to the artist by naming him, the name of the portrait you chose, and the date it was painted. You may include the image in your post if you wish. Be sure to post your poem to Mr. Linky below!

Hoping to see some wonderfully creative poems motivated by Hellesen’s work!

New to dVerse?  Need to be refreshed on the rules?

Here’s what to do:

  • Write a poem using ONE of the portraits above painted by Thorvald Hellesen, as your inspiration. There is no required form for the poem. Be sure to give credit to Hellesen by listing his name, the name of the portrait chosen and date it was painted. You may also include the image if you choose to do so.
  • Post the poem to your blog AND add the exact URL for your poem to Mr. Linky below.
  • REMEMBER to either TAG dVerse in your post, or include a LINK at the end of your poem that leads readers back to dVerse.
  • If you do not TAG or include a LINK to dVerse at the end of your post, I will gently remind you to do so. After all, this will increase your readership and comments, and others will find dVerse and hopefully join in the fun. If you do not add the TAG or link after my reminder, I will remove your post from Mr. Linky. I do not want to do that! So please do include the TAG or link!