Olav Mosdøl
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Portrait of Olav
A child needs serenity to secure his fledgling roots to life.
A youth needs roots for his petals to unfurl to the light.
A man needs his roots to go deep to carry burdens in headwind.
(from the collection "I Lydeskar")

Olav Mosdøl is a Norwegian writer and poet. He was born February 10. 1937 in Bykle, and spent his childhood and youth in Setesdal. He graduated from Hornnes Upper Secondary School before training as a military officer. He then studied at the Teacher Training College in Kristiansand where he graduated in 1960. Later he studied Norwegian, History and Physical Education at Oslo University.

As a young teacher Olav Mosdøl was involved at an early stage in the developing of the plans for the 9-year school in Vest-Telemark. In the early 1960s he worked in one of the new type of school, where the pupils were streamed. Here, at Kvitsund, he was student counsellor and later principal. From 1972 he was responsible for planning Kvitsund Upper Secondary School which was started in 1974. He became a full-time writer from 1999.

Olav Mosdøl has held teaching and administrative posts in the municipalities of Lillesand, Birkenes and Kviteseid. In Kviteseid he has been active in local council and culture work for several periods. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Kviteseid Bygdetun, a branch of the Vest-Telemark Museum. The Bygdetun has been developed into a cultural gathering place for both natives and tourists during the summer.
     Olav Mosdøl, writer
Address: Kleivstaulvegen 2
3850 Kviteseid
House: Eldhusbakken
Phone: (+47) 35 05 35 74
(+47) 995 97 864 (mobile)
E-mail: olav@mosdol.no
Homepage: www.mosdol.no

When Olav Mosdøl moved to Telemark, he was inspired by the literature of Tarjei Vesas and Johan Falkberget. The encounter with the poet Halvor J. Sandsdalen from Seljord led to his interest in poetry coming into its own. He wrote poems for Telemark Tidend where Sandsdalen was editor. In 1977 Olav Mosdøl’s first collection of poetry Kvite symrer (White Wood Anemones) was published.

His breakthrough as a writer came with the collection I Lydeskar (In Echoing Passes) in 1979. Many took note of Mosdøl’s original and expressive form. Nils Hellesnes wrote the following in Stavanger Aftenblad: “He achieves suspending the poem between a strangly secure beginning and an equally secure ending. Leaving the poem to stand there vibrating.”

In 2002 Mosdøl’s body of work could be summarized in this way: A number of books and texts within different genres have been published over a period of 25 years; among the poems, cantatas, books with integrated pictures and text, plays and several CDs. Olav Mosdøl gives an annual “poetic concert” at Sørlandet and in Rogaland, in Setesdal and in Telemark in cooperation with various artists. The year 2006 will be an active year with the publication of his Dikt i utval (Selected Poems) and a new CD.


Here is one sample of a poem from the first collection of poetry Kvite symrer (White Wood Anemones):

Moments in steady motion
pass away
in the instant
between then and now,
at this moment we exist
we live.

Seeking in what was
seeking in what is to come.

Life was not yesterday
and not tomorrow.
Life is now
in this moment that is born
and dies.

We had
one second
of eternity.

Reference to more information in the Norwegian pages:
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This website was created by Øyvind Berg and Tarjei Myklebust in 2006,
and the text was translated by Lis Martinsen.
Modified in April 2008.