13 years old Henrik Wergeland had his first story published in Morgenbladet. And he continued to write, although he began studying theology and became involved in student life. He mainly wrote poems about nature and love. Quite a few of these where about Stella, a woman he created that represented the ideal image of a girl he was unhappy in love with.
Wergeland stands as a focal point for the democratic and national uprising in Norway. He was very involved in the public political debate and worked for public education, a joint Norwegian written language and human prisons - among many other things. Wergeland led the way in “17th of May” celebrations and wrote a new poem each year for the National Day.
It was often like this with Wergeland: the topics he was concerned in, was usually reflected in a poem or a theatrical farce. He wrote a number of farces under the pseudonym Siful Sifadda, as well as several plays and poetry collections. He wrote adventurelike poetry, characterized by strength and life. The experience was more important than form and style. He often wrote about nature, where he saw life everywhere. But he also wrote of mankind, that he had a tremendous belief in. Two of his most famous poems are "My self" and "To my Gyldenlak" which he wrote just before he died.
Wergeland wanted to be a public educator. He wrote textbooks and started public libraries around the country. He fought for independence from Denmark and made a major effort to norwegianize the written language. He even made new words in Norwegian. Most of them were never used, but the word "husflid” (craft) is probably made of him.
Wergeland was also strongly engaged and committed in the fight to withdraw the ban refusing Jews access to Norway. This was done six years after his death.
The monument on his grave was raised by grateful Jews outside Norway in 1847. It is an example of Gothic Revival tomb art. A lying torch symbolizes death, and the garland lyre is the symbol of a poet who has won a victory.
The bust is made by Hans Hansen.