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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Consolation Grook

(Piet Hein, 1905-1996, Danish poet, designer, and

In the right hands, poetry can truly inspire.

Piet Hein was an accomplished mathematician, designer (of furniture and games, and a public square in Stockholm), and writer of at least ten thousand poems.

He began writing his short and aphoristic verses — “grooks,” he called them in English — when he went into hiding as a member of the Danish Resistance during the Nazi occupation of his country. His first poem (below) became a popular rallying cry for the Danes, urging them to keep on fighting for their freedom and beliefs and not to collaborate with the regime for they will regret their betrayal when freedom is restored. He went on to write about a thousand more such verses during the War.


Losing one glove
is certainly painful,
but nothing
compared to the pain,
of losing one,
throwing away the other,
and finding

the first one again.

~ Piet Hein