Hailed as "the first Faroese writer of genius" and "without a doubt a great poet", Janus Djurhuus was born 26 February 1881 in Tórshavn, Faroe islands. Janus and his younger brother Hans, who was also a poet, grew up listening to and being inspired by great Faroese poetry such as Jóannes Patursson's Nú er tann stundin komin til handa (Now is the hour come for acting). You may remember this name from my blog post last week. If not click HERE.
Interestingly, Janus Djurhuus was a lawyer, a profession seemingly at odds with the free-thinking nature of a poet, but there you have it. His first poem, Blíð er summarnátt á Føroya landi was published in 1901 while he was studying at University in Denmark. He completed his studies in 1911 and began practicing law in Copenhagen, where he continued to work for over twenty-five years before returning to the Faroe Islands to practice there.
In 1914 Janus had a collection of his poems published. This was the first ever collection of poems in the Faroese language written by one author. He went on to publish four further collections of poetry. He was also passionate about Classical Greek literature. He translated and had published many of the Greek greats such as Homer, Plato, and the poet Sappho into the Faroese language.
On 28 May 1984, Faroe Islands issued a set of four stamps honouring great Faroese writers. This set was engraved by Czeslaw Slania. One of the stamps in this set features Janus Djurhuus. This stamp - like last week's stamps - exhibits a photo-realistic style synonymous with the engraving genius of Slania. Although to be perfectly honest I tend to prefer more interpretive styles of engraving over photo-realism. Not that I dislike these stamps, mind you! They are truly stunning! Let's take a look-see at the Janus Djurhuus stamp.
Next week we'll take a look at the final stamp in this set, so as they say on TV "stay tuned!"
Until next time...