Fricis Bārda (1880 - 1919)

Photo from the archive of Latvian Academic Library


The poet Fricis Bārda was born in Vidzeme. In 1906, he traveled to Vienna to study at the University of Vienna’s Department of Philology, where he was influenced by the ideas of Henri Bergson and Friedrich Nietzsche. In 1907, Bārda was forced to return to Latvia, where he worked as a teacher, gave lectures, and published articles and reviews of literature. During the First World War, Bārda was an inspector of schools in the Valmiera district and an instructor at the Baltic Technical College.

Following his early death, Bārda’s second collection of poetry was compiled by his brother, poet Antons Bārda, and his wife, poet Paulīna Bārda. A museum has been set up in Bārda’s childhood home.

Bārda is one of the most popular classic Latvian authors. His volume of poetry “Zemes dēls” (Son of the Earth) has been published at least twelve times, and his collection “Dziesmas un lūgšanas Dzīvības kokam” (Songs and Prayers for the Tree of Life) has been published nine times.