Maurice Maeterlinck

[Comte Maeterlinck] (1862 - 1949 / Ghent)

Maurice Maeterlinck
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Maurice Polydore Marie Bernard Maeterlinck (also called Comte (Count) Maeterlinck; 29 August 1862 – 6 May 1949) was a Belgian playwright, poet, and essayist who wrote in French. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1911. The main themes in his work are death and the meaning of life. His plays form an important part of the Symbolist movement.

Maeterlinck was born in Ghent, Belgium, to a wealthy, French-speaking family. His father, Polydore, was a notary who enjoyed tending the greenhouses on their property. His mother, Mathilde, came from a wealthy family.

In September 1874 he was sent to the Jesuit College of Sainte-Barbe, where works of the French Romantics ... more »

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  • ''They believe that nothing will happen because they have closed their doors.''
    Maurice Maeterlinck (1862-1949), Belgian author. Old Man, in Interior (1894). In this play, the old man is looking in on a family who have yet to ...
  • ''Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves.''
    Maurice Maeterlinck (1862-1949), Belgian author. "Silence," The Treasure of the Humble (1896), trans. by Alfred Sutro (1908).
  • ''No great inner event befalls those who summon it not.''
    Maurice Maeterlinck (1862-1949), Belgian author. Wisdom and Destiny, p. 32 (1898), trans. by Alfred Sutro (1912).
  • ''Our reason may prove what it will: our reason is only a feeble ray that has issued from Nature.''
    Maurice Maeterlinck (1862-1949), Belgian author. Wisdom and Destiny, p. 15 (1898), trans. by Alfred Sutro (1912).
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Best Poem of Maurice Maeterlinck

The Passions

Narrow paths my passions tread:
Laughter rings there, sorrow cries;
Sick and sad, with half-shut eyes,
Thro' the leaves the woods have shed,

My sins like yellow mongrels slink;
Uncouth hyenas, my hates complain,
And on the pale and listless plain
Couching low, love's lion's blink.

Powerless, deep in a dream of peace,
Sunk in a languid spell they lie,
Under a colourless, desolate sky,
There they gaze and never cease,

Where like sheep temptations graze,
One by one departing slow:
In the moon's unchanging glow
My ...

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