Olav Håkonson Hauge (18 August 1908 – 23 May 1994) was a Norwegian horticulturist, translator and poet.
Hauge was born at the village of Ulvik in Hordaland, Norway. His parents Håkon Hauge (1877-1954) and Katrina Hakestad (1873-1975) were farmers. Hauge attended middle school in Ulvik 1925–1926. He learned English and German in school and later taught himself French by reading. He spent many years training in horticulture and fruit cultivation. He went to Hjeltnes Horticulture School (Hjeltnes videregående skole) in Ulvik (1927 and 1933–34), Norwegian University of Life Sciences at Ås (1930) and the State Research Center (Statens forsøksgardt) at Hermannsverk in Sogn og Fjordane (1931-1933). He lived his whole life in Ulvik working as a gardener in his own apple orchard.
Hauge's first poems were published in 1946, all in a traditional form. He later wrote modernist poetry and in particular concrete poetry that inspired other, younger Norwegian poets, such as Jan Erik Vold. A well-known example, in the Norwegian original:
In English translation:
Aside from writing his own poems, he was internationally oriented, and translated poems by Alfred Tennyson, William Butler Yeats, Robert Browning, Stéphane Mallarmé, Arthur Rimbaud, Stephen Crane, Friedrich Hölderlin, Georg Trakl, Paul Celan, Bertolt Brecht and Robert Bly to Norwegian. He also wrote poetry in homage to fellow poets William Blake, Paul Celan, Gérard de Nerval and Emily Dickinson. He was also inspired by classical Chinese poetry, e.g. in his poem "T`ao Ch`ien" in the collection Spør vinden.
Hauge has been translated to English by the Scottish poet Robin Fulton in Olav Hauge: Selected Poems, from 1990, and by the American poet Robert Bly in Trusting Your Life to Water and Eternity: Twenty Poems of Olav H. Hauge, from 1987. The American author Robert Hedin translated Hauge in 2001 in the collection The Bullfinch Rising from the Cherry Tree: Poems of Olav H. Hauge and in Leaf-huts and Snow-houses in 2004. Robert Bly and Robert Hedin together translated Hauge in 2008 in The Dream We Carry: Selected and Last Poems of Olav H. Hauge. Words from Glor i oska were used as lyrics for the Solefald song "Song til stormen" off of their 2010 album, Norrøn Livskunst.
Olav H. Hauge Center (Olav H. Hauge - Senteret) is situated on Brakanes near Ulvikafjorden. The center includes an exhibition, library of poetry, poetry workshop and museum highlighting the poet's life and work. Nynorsk kultursentrum manages both the Olav H. Hauge Centre and the Ivar Aasen-instituttet in Ørsta.
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