Stephan G. Stephansson
NOTED ICELANDIC POET VISITS WYNYARD
Stephan G. Stephansson of Markerville Alta., with his daughter Rosa last Saturday concluded a ten day visit to friends in Wynyard and the neighborhood. In May, this year, Mr. Stephansson went to Winnipeg for medical advice and treatment and while resident in the city he made several trips to the Icelandic Communities in North Dakota and Mantoba renewing acquaintance with a number of his admirers. In Winnipeg the Icelandic Patriotic Association held a grand banquet in his honor. While in this district he has been the guest of Dr. J. P. Palsson of Elfros and Mr. J. J. Norman of Wynyard. His many friends will be gratified to know that he has considerably recovered from his illness.
A Great Man
How many of us, I wonder, felt and knew that we had a great man amongst us? If a Prince or a Multi-Millionaire had stayed in Wynyard for a whole week, you can easily imagine the fuss and excitement there would have been. There was no fuss about Stephan. Indeed he would be the last man to try to awaken public interest in himself. Just the opposite is what he would do, for he is a farmer and takes pains that his appearance show him nothing but an ordinary farmer. His pride is to be a useful man of the soil, depending upon nothing for his daily bread but "sun and rain".
Now what is to be said more about this quiet, and in some ways, seemingly unattractive old man and farmer? Let the learned men give the answer. — Stephan G. Stephansson is one of the greatest Iceland poets that ever lived. He has never been in a school of any kind, yet the learned experts say that his knowledge of poetry, history, and all branchs of literature can scarcely be excelled. In other words he is a highly educated and learned man.
Born in Iceland on Oct. 3 1853 he emigrated to Wisconsin, U.S.A. as young man of 20, later, (in 1880) moving to Gardar, North Dakota. Here he was married and in 1889, moved to Markerville, Alta. where he has resided since. In his Western home he lives as a farmer, farming by day, reading and writing at night; that is how he has managed his time. His published works consist of five big volumes of poetry of about 350 pages each.
A Creator Of Language
As an Idealist and a Stylist he is rather unique. His rich language is very much influencing the modern structure of the Icelandic language. Linguistics predict that when the steadily increasing interest in the Norse or Old Icelandic language (which is very much the same as modern Icelandic) has gone a little farther, his works, will be the self-chosen textbooks in the American and Canadian Schools and universities.
"Stephan G" as he is usually called among his countrymen. Is and always has been on the virgin prairies thought and truth the courageous pioneer. The superstitions which he and a few friends began to fight 40 or 50 years ago, have now fled away. The fierce position which he had to face has to a great extent disappeared and with every passing year the love and opposition of his works increases on both sides of the Atlantic.
Stephan G. Stephansson
An emission supplied and a mis-statment corrected.
In my article on Stephan G. Stephansson in last week's Advance, an omission occurred which I now take opportunity of supplying. It is this: "In the year 1917 Stephan was honered by an invitation to visit his Mother Country. The invitors were practically all of the Educational and Societies of the country. On this occasion he was greatly honored by the Icelandic Goverment." In connection with my article, I have been informed that the year 1889 is wrongiy stated as the date of Stephan's marriage. It took place about ten years before that.
THE WYNYARD ADVANCE, THURSDAY, AUGUST 19TH, 1926