Grook

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A grook ("gruk" in Danish) is a form of short aphoristic poem. It was invented by the Danish poet and scientist Piet Hein. He wrote over 7,000 of them, most in Danish or English, published in 20 volumes. Some say that the name is short for "GRin & sUK" ("laugh & sigh" in Danish), but Piet Hein said he felt that the word had come out of thin air.

His gruks first started to appear in the daily newspaper "Politiken" shortly after the Nazi Occupation in April 1940 under the signature Kumbel Kumbell. The poems were meant as a spirit-building, yet slightly coded form of passive resistance against Nazi occupation during World War II. The grook are characterized by irony, paradox, brevity, precise use of language, sophisticated rhythms and rhymes and often satiric nature.

THE ROAD TO WISDOM?

Piet Hein.

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