August Strindberg Poems

August Strindberg Poems, August Strindberg was an extremely prolific writer of poetry, plays and books on a variety of subjects. Over a period of some forty years he wrote in excess of sixty plays and thirty books covering such topics as politics, history, Swedish culture, autobiographies and some fiction. He was also an accomplished artist. His style of writing has been described as iconoclastic and boldly experimental. He adopted surrealist and expressionist methods in both his poetry and his play writing and he is often called the father of Swedish literature. Published in 1879, The Red Room is acknowledged as being the first modern Swedish novel.

August Strindberg Poems

August Strindberg Bio

He was born Johan August Strindberg on the 22nd January 1849 in Stockholm, Sweden. His father was a shipping agent and his mother a serving maid and Strindberg portrayed his upbringing in an autobiographical novel called The Son of a Servant. It was a difficult childhood, full of insecurity and blighted by poverty. The family moved often, which of course severely disrupted the young boy’s education. He was only really happy at the Jakob school (in 1860) and then the Stockholm Lyceum where he studied for six years. He was certainly an able student and had a keen interest in religion, natural sciences and photography and was able to go on to study at the Uppsala University.

August Strindberg Poems
August Strindberg Poems

During his studies there he did a little private tutoring and also had a part time job with a pharmacist. On graduation he became a teacher for a while and also continued his scientific studies, hoping to become a doctor. He soon turned to the theatrical world though and worked as an extra in a Stockholm theatre. He was trying hard to get his plays accepted and it took until 1881, when he was 31 years old, for his first breakthrough. From then on he had considerable success in getting his work performed on stage.

August Strindberg Poems


DOWN to the sand-covered earth.
Straw from the harvested fields soiled our feet;
Dust from the high-roads,
Smoke from the cities,
Foul-smelling breaths,
Fumes from cellars and kitchens,
All we endured.
Then to the open sea we fled,
Filling our lungs with air,
Shaking our wings,
And laving our feet.Indra, Lord of the Heavens,
Hear us!
Hear our sighing!
Unclean is the earth;
Evil is life;
Neither good nor bad
Can men be deemed.
As they can, they live,
One day at a time.
Sons of dust, through dust they journey;
Born out of dust, to dust they return.
Given they were, for trudging,
Feet, not wings for flying.
Dusty they grow–
Lies the fault then with them,
Or with Thee?
August Strindberg Poems
August Strindberg Poems

We Waves

WE, we waves,
That are rocking the winds
To rest–
Green cradles, we waves!

Wet are we, and salty;
Leap like flames of fire–
Wet flames are we:
Burning, extinguishing;
Cleansing, replenishing;
Bearing, engendering.

We, we waves,
That are rocking the winds
To rest!

August Strindberg Poems
August Strindberg Poems


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