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!
Happy Tuesday to all! Delighted to host Tuesday Poetics from sunny but still chilly Boston. Looking forward to seeing what you do with these portraits from this Norwegian artist!
Plenty of libations here…..plus some lemon bars, pistachio baklava, and Norwegian apple cake. Hope to see many folks at the pub today!
Björn Rudberg (brudberg) said:
Love the pictures, especially the cubistic ones …
So glad you like his work. Fascinating that he was ignored by Norway until one-hundred plus years after his first failed exhibition there!
Ah my computer is acting up…..this may be my second “welcome” chat post here….in any case, I hope you enjoy learning about this Norwegian artist and that many of you will post a poem today at the pub!
Hi Lillian, thanks for introducing us to his work. I read a little bit of the cubist themes and of course his life journey. Good for him to finally get his long overdue recognition. A bit cool today but still sunny.
Glad you enjoyed learning about him. Yes…exactly the same weather in Boston today: cool and sunny. That translates to invigorating to me 🙂
Rob Kistner said:
Thank you for hosting Lil, should be fun… 🙂👍🏼✌🏼🏼
Good to see you, Rob. I trust you’re feeling better today? You gave me a scare on Saturday, dear friend.
Rob Kistner said:
Gave myself a bit of a scare Lil — but all is well. Had the doc confirm as much. Been distracted today, but finally wrestled my muse into some level of cooperation. Did not expect it to go this way — but, hey… sometimes the muse just goes where it goes… 🙂✌🏼🏼
The muse always goes where the muse goes!!! 🙂
Glad to hear all is okay!
Hello Lillian and All! Such lovely paintings! Truly inspirational. Will try to write to one and link up a little later. Have to get out there and do some yard work. Looks like you had a wonderful vacation. Good to be out and about in the world.
Good to see you here….will look forward to your post after your gardening and yard work. Oh yes….it was an amazing trip! The British Isles were so fun seeing….so much beautiful countryside there and in Norway!
Thanks and I bet.
I love an ekphrastic prompt, Lill, and the selection of images has something for everyone. I love the colours. I enjoyed the background information about your trip. I hope you have now recovered and thanks for hosting!
Jet lag has finally disappeared and we are now fully operating on Boston time. It was truly a wonderful trip! Glad you enjoyed the prompt 🙂
Melissa Lemay said:
Thank you for sharing this.❤️ Pistachio baklava please.🤤
Pistachio baklava coming right up! So good to see you here, Melissa. We missed you on Saturday at OLN LIVE! We had 12 people….a good crowd. Maybe next month? But it was so fun to see you out and about with your kiddos on Thursday’s OLN LIVE 🙂
Melissa Lemay said:
Both dates in June are in my calendar! I ended up at a soccer tournament. A blessing. I considered going on anyway, but I’d really like to be able to focus and share. We will prevail.🤭❤️
Family comes first! Glad you went to the soccer tournament. And glad to see you here 🙂
Lillian, I for several years have wanted to take that train ride. Just a little jealous. I’m at our library and the pictures are slow to fill. I’ll go home in a bit, see you then. Thanks for hosting.
Well, let me give you some hints if you do the trainride! The source for these hints was a wonderful woman I reached by email at the train station in Bergen, about 6 months before our trip. I explained I was from Boston and we would be riding the train from Bergen to Oslo and wondered what hints she could give me about where to sit etc. I’d read conflicting reports about which side of the train to ride on for the best views. Her hints proved invaluable and it was an AMAZING ride! So here’s the scoop if you ever do this….and remember, I’m talking about taking it from Bergen to Oslo!
First, order your tickets 90 days in advance on VY – do NOT use the train ninja site (that may not be the right name but you’ll see it when you google to get tickets). The VY site is the direct way to order tickets. They do not take Visa etc from the US. They do take Paypal. That’s key. When you book 90 days in advance (that’s when the date will open to seel you tickets), you get a less expensive price than if you try to buy the day of at the station. You’ll also have your choice of seats. We bought Plus seats…that’s the comfort car. On the Bergen to Oslo train, it’s the last car on the train…there is only one Plus car. It was totally worth it for the extra leg room, the more comfortable seats…the table that sort of opens like a desk as well. There is a tea and coffee machine on that car as well. Beware: if you like cream in your coffee, I suggest you get some of those little creamer packets to bring with you…there is no cream. Three is a dining car on the train…so you can buy sandwiches etc on the train. Or you can bring a sack lunch yourself.
Going from Bergen to Oslo, sit on the left side of the train, as the train is moving. When you go to the site, and start to purchase your tickets, it will assign you seats, BUT it says something like click here to change seats. Do that and you’ll see a diagram of the train and the direction it’s going. In the Plus section, get seats 29 and 30 if you can. FABULOUS big window and good location on the car itself. If you can’t get those, still look for the left side…and try to get seats that are facing forward without seats directly in front of you facing you! IE seating really for four. Also, note that the “lines” in the in the diagram indicate wall. So you want seats that are not with lines beside them — as in unobstructed and best view. Seats 29 and 30 were what she told me to get and they were fabulous!
Also, there is a senior rate for the tickets…for maybe those 65 and over – if you fall into that category. Windows were clean and I got so many wonderful photos. You can also get up, walk around, and in one small section only, the view was better on the left side, so I just stood oup and took photos out that window. Our car was not full….so you could also sit quickly on the left side for that very very short period.
Two other things…you’ll end up in the Oslo train station which is VERY large! It is very hard to find the public restrooms (toilets) there and when you finally do, you have to pay to use them! So, my suggestion is to use the bathroom in the train just before you get off 🙂
And second, in Bergen, we got to the train station a half hour early…even with tickets in hand. Good we did. They were doing work on the tracks between Bergen and the first stop so they had buses to take us to the first stop. No big deal except the buses left about 10 minutes before the train was due to leave so I suspect some folks missed the train! We basically missed a long tunnel and some cityscapes by taking the bus to the first stop. No big deal. And it is quite a jaunt from the bus to the train…so beware. We each had a roller board so it wasn’t too bad. I felt sorry for the folks with large suitcases or multiple suitcases for one person! And by the way, there’s a place as you get into the Plus car where you store your luggage. Very nice.
So there you go! Hope you do get to take the train…it’s amazing!
Smitha V said:
Thanks, Lillian for this info. We are traveling to Bergen as well and have booked the train tickets. I need to see if I can get seat 29 and 30 in the plus car 🙂
It is cool in Bend as well, the Apple Baklava sounds yummy! With a chaser of brandy? The art images you have shared are quite lovely, Lillian. Your trip sounds like a wonderful dream ~~~ I would love to see that part of the world.
Oops, Apple Cake.
Apple cake coming right up! And a chaser of brandy….what a good combination 🙂 Glad you like the images and yes…it was an amazing trip! 🙂
Gillena Cox said:
Thanks for sharing your photos Lillian. Glad you and your husband had a nice vacation.
I absolutely LOVE what you did with the three portraits! So unique…telling a story too. Really really wonderful!
Yes – it was an amazing trip. So much beautiful scenery. Always happy to share photos and have folks become “armchair travelers” with me. Glad you like the pics!
D-Versers! I’m leaving the pub now until tomorrow morning…..but never fear. As always when I host and manage the pub, I’m leaving a key under the first potted flower to the right of the door. Come on in and help yourself to libations and a treat….all is ready for you. I simply ask, instead of payment for the treats, that you simply leave a poem at the bar instead! And of course, replace the key uner the pot so others may wander in through the night.
I’ll be back in the morning….with a strong cup of coffee in hand to catch up on what I hope will be many more poems in the pub!
Very interesting paintings. A challenging prompt. Thanks, Lillian, for hosting this evening! Sounds like your trip was wonderful.
Good to see you here….it was a fabulous trip!
Thanks for hosting, Lill. I’m late for the party but I see there was a slice of Norwegian apple cake at the bar, just waiting for me. Yum! 🙂
Glad you stopped by, Mish! And glad you enjoyed the Norwegian apple cake…..just back to the pub this morning. Looking forward to reading some more poems, from the Cubist perspective perhaps!
Loved this post and the pictures. I’ve always wanted to travel over seas and dots like this one take me there🌸
Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone
So glad you enjoyed the photos! And good to see you here!
Yvonne Osborne said:
I love your description of Norway and the photos are beautiful. We are thinking of another trip next year to Europe, considering where to go. Why not Norway? I don’t know if my brain can do justice to any of these paintings but I will try. Thanks for the prompt and tweeking my dormant art appreciation.
Glad to see you here, Yvonne! Oh yes….Norway is truly a beautiful country!
Sounds like a beautiful trip❤️
It was indeed! Nice to see you here 🙂
Smitha V said:
I’m so glad I chanced upon your post. We’re visiting Norway next week. I’ll make sure to visit the Cafe you suggested and the museums. Thank you, Lillian, for all the information.