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“Let me tell you–that the strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone.”

Henrik Ibsen, An Enemy of the People, Dr. Stockmann’s last words.


Henrik Ibsen Skien

Henrick, Enrique, they say, HenReek.

The Henrik of Ghosts and A Doll’s House,

And Enemy of the People.

In Norway, he’s everywhere:

The looming statue in Skien

Framed by the bay,

And the old church

With its two sky-high spires,

towering above the ash-built town.

He refused to return there.

His ending, instead, Oslo,

Where the palace street

Bears his name.

The false doctrine that is the masses

Adore him, bend and kiss

The floorboards of his childhood home.

The compact majority, unwilling

To stand most alone,

More like Peter than the crazed doctor,

United in their fear,

But willing to tread anonymously

The now hollow path,

And bask in its echoes.