Andersen published several collections of poems, the most important being Digte (Poems) (1830), Phantasier og Skizzer (Phantasies and sketches) (1831) and Samlede Digte (Collected Poems) (1833). His friend, the German poet Adelbert von Chamisso, whom he had met on his journey to Germany in 1831 (see his travel book Skyggebilleder from this year) translated a number of his poems into German (later others likewise translated a number of Andersen's poems into German). Some of these translations attracted the attention of the composer Robert Schumann (later Clara and Robert Schumann became Andersen's friends, as did composers like Mendelssohn and Liszt), and Schumann set music to five of Andersen's poems. Many Danish composers have set music to Andersen's pomes (as did the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg), and thus they have become familiar to all Danes and are today just as much alive in our national culture as the fairy-tales. All in all Andersen wrote more than 1,000 poems (see the edition by Johan de Mylius: Hans Christian Andersen. Samlede digte. Aschehoug, København, 2000). Among the very best are the poems from his late travel book In Spain (1863).


© 2002 Johan de Mylius, The Hans Christian Andersen Center