not to be found in books

“Eye in Eye” by Edvard Munch

I was looking for a course, a way
and meaning in my life
and thought the answer could be found
in all that wise men wrote.
And they are surely not to blame
if I ended up no wiser.
That mystery so clear, so deep,
is not to be found in books.
It was in your eyes, shining, blue,
that I first saw it once.
Eternity opened a tiny crack,
And earth and heaven sang.

~ Olav H. Hauge
(The Magic of Fjords)

24 thoughts on “not to be found in books”

    1. The poet seems to illustrate how love can be such a profoundly spiritual and transcendent experience. I’m glad you enjoyed it, Debbie!

  1. That’s a nice poem Barbara and it is nice to see a Munch painting without a woman screaming. 🙂 I think you said you visited the Edvard Munch museum when you visited Norway?

    1. We didn’t have time to see the Munch museum in Oslo but in 2006 we went to an amazing, huge Munch exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. It was Edvard Munch: The Modern Life of the Soul. It displayed 87 of his paintings and some works on paper. We were there for hours. There is so much more to his work than The Scream. But he experienced so much trauma in his life it was definitely expressed in much of his work.

      1. That New York exhibit sounds fabulous Barbara. I remember there was lots of history in the Munch Museum and our guide said the same thing as you, that people only know Munch for The Scream and nothing more. Yes, he had his dark moments in his life and what was expressed in his paintings.

        1. At some point in his life he made a decision: “No longer shall I paint interiors with men reading and women knitting. I will paint living people who breathe and feel and suffer and love.” ~ Edvard Munch I think that’s part of why I like his paintings so much; they portray life as he found it.

  2. I didn’t understand this painting, Barbara. To the right of the man in the grass behind a red and blue flower I see a squirrel. Am I really seeing that or is it my imagination?

    This painting seems very dark in thoughts, so I’m wondering why you chose it to match up with a very romantic beautiful love poem? The painting doesn’t look romantic to me, but a little insane, scary insane, with those faces.

    I suspect I’m out of my elements here today.

    1. It could well be a squirrel, TD, perhaps one of nature’s creatures silently witnessing an intimate moment of love? Interesting how paintings can affect different people differently. To me, the scene is beautiful and romantic, a couple secretly meeting outside the house, under a wise tree, and expressing their love. The tree and their love hold more wisdom than could ever be found in the books left behind in the house. Anyhow, that’s how it hit me. Perhaps you’d find this Munch painting more to your liking:

      1. Oh, yes I like the “Mourning” painting very much! It’s not dark at all. Very realistic and I can very much relate.

        I like your take on the squirrel and what you see in the above painting much better than what I saw. Although that squirrel did peek my curiosity and I studied the painting.

  3. I’m embarrassed to say I know neither the painting nor the poem. Of course, I know of Munch’s famous scream, but this is so different, and I love how you coupled the lovely, romantic poem with it.

    1. Thank you, Pam. It’s amazing what I stumble across when I browse around in WikiArt. And I have a collection of translated Scandinavian poetry books I read over and over again. It’s so much fun for me pairing them up. 🙂

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