Petter Dass
Overview
 
Petter Dass was a Lutheran clergyman and the foremost Norwegian poet
Poet
A poet is a person who writes poetry. A poet's work can be literal, meaning that his work is derived from a specific event, or metaphorical, meaning that his work can take on many meanings and forms. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary...

 of his generation, writing both baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 hymn
Hymn
A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of praise, adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification...

s and topographical poetry
Topographical poetry
Topographical poetry or loco-descriptive poetry is a genre of poetry that describes, and often praises, a landscape or place. John Denham's 1642 poem "Cooper's Hill" established the genre, which peaked in popularity in 18th-century England with the poetry of William Wordsworth...

.

He was born at Northern Herøy
Herøy, Nordland
Herøy is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the Helgeland traditional region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Herøy. Herøy was separated from Alstahaug in 1862...

 (Dønna
Dønna
Dønna is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the Helgeland region.Outer Helgeland, consists of the municipalities Leirfjord, Alstahaug, Herøy as well as Dønna. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Solfjellsjøen. The municipality has a large...

), Nordland
Nordland
is a county in Norway in the North Norway region, bordering Troms in the north, Nord-Trøndelag in the south, Norrbottens län in Sweden to the east, Västerbottens län to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The county was formerly known as Nordlandene amt. The county administration is...

, Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

. His father was a merchant originally from Dundee
Dundee
Dundee is the fourth-largest city in Scotland and the 39th most populous settlement in the United Kingdom. It lies within the eastern central Lowlands on the north bank of the Firth of Tay, which feeds into the North Sea...

, Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

, Peter Dundas who had established himself as a trader along the northern Norwegian coast. His mother was Maren Falch (1619-40) whose father had been the local bailiff, a large land owner in Helgeland
Helgeland
Helgeland is the most southerly district in Northern Norway. Generally speaking, Helgeland refers to the part of Nordland county that is located south of the Arctic Circle. The district covers an area of about , with nearly 79,000 inhabitants...

 and manager for the Dønnes estate of Henrik Rantzau.
Encyclopedia
Petter Dass was a Lutheran clergyman and the foremost Norwegian poet
Poet
A poet is a person who writes poetry. A poet's work can be literal, meaning that his work is derived from a specific event, or metaphorical, meaning that his work can take on many meanings and forms. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary...

 of his generation, writing both baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 hymn
Hymn
A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of praise, adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification...

s and topographical poetry
Topographical poetry
Topographical poetry or loco-descriptive poetry is a genre of poetry that describes, and often praises, a landscape or place. John Denham's 1642 poem "Cooper's Hill" established the genre, which peaked in popularity in 18th-century England with the poetry of William Wordsworth...

.

Biography

He was born at Northern Herøy
Herøy, Nordland
Herøy is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the Helgeland traditional region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Herøy. Herøy was separated from Alstahaug in 1862...

 (Dønna
Dønna
Dønna is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the Helgeland region.Outer Helgeland, consists of the municipalities Leirfjord, Alstahaug, Herøy as well as Dønna. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Solfjellsjøen. The municipality has a large...

), Nordland
Nordland
is a county in Norway in the North Norway region, bordering Troms in the north, Nord-Trøndelag in the south, Norrbottens län in Sweden to the east, Västerbottens län to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The county was formerly known as Nordlandene amt. The county administration is...

, Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

. His father was a merchant originally from Dundee
Dundee
Dundee is the fourth-largest city in Scotland and the 39th most populous settlement in the United Kingdom. It lies within the eastern central Lowlands on the north bank of the Firth of Tay, which feeds into the North Sea...

, Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

, Peter Dundas who had established himself as a trader along the northern Norwegian coast. His mother was Maren Falch (1619-40) whose father had been the local bailiff, a large land owner in Helgeland
Helgeland
Helgeland is the most southerly district in Northern Norway. Generally speaking, Helgeland refers to the part of Nordland county that is located south of the Arctic Circle. The district covers an area of about , with nearly 79,000 inhabitants...

 and manager for the Dønnes estate of Henrik Rantzau. His father died in 1653, when Petter was 6, and the children were cared for by relatives and friends. His mother remarried, but Petter remained with his mother's sister, Anna Falck, who was married to the priest at Nærøy
Nærøy
Nærøy is a municipality in Nord-Trøndelag county, Norway. Nærøy is part of the Namdalen region. Norway's smallest town, Kolvereid, is the administration centre of the municipality...

.

At 13, Petter began attending school in Bergen, and later studied theology at the University of Copenhagen
University of Copenhagen
The University of Copenhagen is the oldest and largest university and research institution in Denmark. Founded in 1479, it has more than 37,000 students, the majority of whom are female , and more than 7,000 employees. The university has several campuses located in and around Copenhagen, with the...

. He was lonely during his years in Copenhagen, but intellectually stimulated. After his years in Copenhagen, he returned to Norway and became a tutor in Vefsn
Vefsn
Vefsn is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the Helgeland traditional region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Mosjøen....

. He fathered a child out of wedlock, and had to travel to Copenhagen and seek pardon from the Danish king. In 1689 he was appointed parish
Parish
A parish is a territorial unit historically under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of one parish priest, who might be assisted in his pastoral duties by a curate or curates - also priests but not the parish priest - from a more or less central parish church with its associated organization...

 priest at Alstahaug
Alstahaug
Alstahaug is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the Helgeland region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Sandnessjøen....

. His parish was quite large covering an area which included the villages of Hattfjelldal
Hattfjelldal
Hattfjelldal is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the Helgeland traditional region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Hattfjelldal. Other villages include Grubben, Svenskvollen, and Varntresk...

, Vevelstad
Vevelstad
Vevelstad is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the Helgeland traditional region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Forvika. -General information:...

, Leirfjord
Leirfjord
Leirfjord is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the Helgeland traditional region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Leland....

, Vefsn
Vefsn
Vefsn is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the Helgeland traditional region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Mosjøen....

, Herøy
Herøy, Nordland
Herøy is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the Helgeland traditional region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Herøy. Herøy was separated from Alstahaug in 1862...

, Dønna
Dønna
Dønna is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the Helgeland region.Outer Helgeland, consists of the municipalities Leirfjord, Alstahaug, Herøy as well as Dønna. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Solfjellsjøen. The municipality has a large...

, Nesna
Nesna
Nesna is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the Helgeland traditional region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Nesna....

, Hemnes
Hemnes
Hemnes is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the Helgeland traditional region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Korgen.- Municipality history :...

 and Rana
Rana, Norway
Rana is the second largest municipality in Nordland county – and the third largest in North Norway – by population. By area, Rana is largest in Norway south of Finnmark , taking in large areas of mountains and forested valleys. It is part of the Helgeland traditional region...

.
He was also a writer of texts and hymns. Most of his writings were not published until after his death. His most famous work is the versified topographical description of northern Norway, Nordlands Trompet ("The Trumpet of Nordland"), and some psalms still in use, most prominently Herre Gud, ditt dyre navn og ære("Good Lord, thy precious name and glory").

The only existing portrait of Petter Dass is traditionally believed to be one found in the Melhus church
Melhus church
Melhus Church , also known as "the Gauldal Cathedral", is a large stone church in Melhus, Norway. It was built in 1892, after the older church building was demolished. The churchyard contains a cemetery....

 in Norway. However, the claim is hotly disputed, with some historians having studied the painting and concluding that the subject is most likely not that of Dass. Several modern day statues and bust of Petter Dass have been erected in Norway including a bas-relief of Norwegian sculptor Ambrosia Theodora Tønnesen (1859-1948) at the Bergen Cathedral
Bergen Cathedral
Bergen Cathedral is the seat of the Diocese of Bjørgvin. Located in the city centre of Bergen, Norway, the first recorded reference to it is dated 1181. It retains its ancient dedication to St Olaf ....

 . The community of Sandnessjøen
Sandnessjøen
Sandnessjøen is the centre of the municipality of Alstahaug in the county of Nordland, Norway, with a population of over 9,000. It was made a township in 1788....

 has a modern statue of Petter Dass located prominently in the town centre.

Petter Dass was deeply mourned after his death, and many fishing vessels of Northern Norway carried a black cloth in their sail for 100 years after his death, as a sign of mourning. He is still the subject of folklore
Folklore
Folklore consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales and customs that are the traditions of a culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The study of folklore is sometimes called...

 of Nordland. There is, for example, a legend of how he fooled the devil to carry him to Copenhagen to preach for the king.

Petter Dass Chapel

Petter Dass Chapel (Petter Dass-kapellet) is located in Husøya
Husøya
Husøya is the administrative centre of Træna municipality, Norway. Its population is 336.-References:...

, the administrative centre of Træna
Træna
Træna is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the Helgeland traditional region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Husøya. Træna was separated from the municipality of Lurøy in 1872....

 municipality, in Nordland county, Norway. The chapel was opened on 28 June 1997 as a memorial of Petter Dass.

Petter Dass Prize

Petter Dass Prize (Petter Dass-prisen) is an annual award extended by the Norwegian newspaper Vårt Land
Vårt Land (Norwegian newspaper)
Vårt Land is a daily newspaper published in Oslo. It has a nationwide target audience. Its average daily circulation in 2007 was 27.146, it was Norway's 23rd largest newspaper...

. the prize was first granted during 1995. It is awarded in recognition of a person or organization that has helped to put the Christian faith on the agenda in society.

Petter Dass Medal

Petter Dass Medal (Petter Dass medaljen) is an award given annually by Nordlendingenes Forening in Oslo
Oslo
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...

, to people from Northern Norway who have distinguished themselves in their work for the region's development. The society is a faternal association of people who have emigrated from the counties of Nordland
Nordland
is a county in Norway in the North Norway region, bordering Troms in the north, Nord-Trøndelag in the south, Norrbottens län in Sweden to the east, Västerbottens län to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The county was formerly known as Nordlandene amt. The county administration is...

, Troms
Troms
or Romsa is a county in North Norway, bordering Finnmark to the northeast and Nordland in the southwest. To the south is Norrbotten Län in Sweden and further southeast is a shorter border with Lapland Province in Finland. To the west is the Norwegian Sea...

 and Finnmark
Finnmark
or Finnmárku is a county in the extreme northeast of Norway. By land it borders Troms county to the west, Finland to the south and Russia to the east, and by water, the Norwegian Sea to the northwest, and the Barents Sea to the north and northeast.The county was formerly known as Finmarkens...

. Nordlendingenes Forening] was founded by Norwegian educator, clergyman and engineer Ole Tobias Olsen (August 1830 - July 6, 1924) and Norwegian theologian and hymn writer Elias Blix
Elias Blix
Elias Blix was a Norwegian professor, theologian, hymn writer, and a politician for the Liberal Party. Blix wrote numerous hymns and was largely responsible for translating the New Testament into the Norwegian language.-Biography:Born in Gildeskål, Salten, in Nordland County, Norway. He attended...

. In honors of the society's 50th anniversary in 1912, a commemorative medal was first established in memory of Petter Dass.

Petter Dass Museum

Petter Dass Museum (Petter Dass-museet) in Alstahaug
Alstahaug
Alstahaug is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the Helgeland region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Sandnessjøen....

 municipality in Nordland county, Norway was established in 1966 and is currently a division of Helgeland Museum. The opening of the new museum building took place during Autumn 2007, 300 years after the death of Petter Dass. The facility inspires the teaching, research, artistic creative work, study and contemplation, and dialogue about culture and values. Since 1983, Petter Dass has also been honored with the traditional Petter Dass days at Alstahaug.

Modern cultural influence

Noted Norwegian Classical songwriter Edvard Grieg
Edvard Grieg
Edvard Hagerup Grieg was a Norwegian composer and pianist. He is best known for his Piano Concerto in A minor, for his incidental music to Henrik Ibsen's play Peer Gynt , and for his collection of piano miniatures Lyric Pieces.-Biography:Edvard Hagerup Grieg was born in...

 included the words of Petter Dass in his composition Fisherman's Song (Fiskervise. 1894) from 7 Barnlige Sange, Op.61. More recently Norwegian folk singer, Jack Berntsen
Jack Berntsen
Joakim Jan Aril "Jack" Berntsen was a Norwegian philologist, songwriter and folk singer.He was born in Kjøpsvik, Tysfjord. He grew up in Hamarøy, and resided in Svolvær from 1968....

 has written songs based on poems by Petter Dass and Norwegian playwright Lars Berg
Lars Berg
Lars Kornelius Edvard Berg was a Norwegian teacher, novelist, short story writer and playwright.He was born at Kvaløya as the son of fisherman and farmer Emil Larsen Berg and Olufine Johansen, and grew up at a small farm. From 1947 he was married to Aud Norvåg...

 wrote the play Petter Dass (1967). Mit navn er Petter Dass, a music album published in 2008 with lyrics by Petter Dass, was written by Kari Bremnes
Kari Bremnes
Kari Bremnes is a Norwegian singer and songwriter.She got an M.A. in language, literature , history and theater studies from the University of Oslo, and worked as a journalist for several years before deciding to dedicate herself to music full time.In 1987 she received the Spellemannprisen for the...

with her brothers Lars and Ola.

Other sources

  • Andersen, Per Thomas (1997) Fra Petter Dass til Jan Kjærstad: Studier i diktekunst og komposisjon (Cappelen akademisk forlag) ISBN 978-8245605112
  • Akslen, Laila (1998) Norsk barokk: Dorothe Engelbrettsdatter og Petter Dass i retorisk tradisjon (Oslo: Cappelen) ISBN 978-8245604450
  • Apenes, Sverre Inge (1978) Rapport om Petter Dass: Presten som diktet makt til folket (Gyldendal) ISBN 978-8205114067
  • Forfang, Sven Erik (1999) Som siges at præsten paa Næsne har gjord" : søkelys på Petter Dass' liv og verk (Høgskolen i Nesna) ISBN 82-7569-044-7
  • Hansen, Kåre (2006) Petter Dass, mennesket, makten og mytene ISBN 978-82-997397-0-2
  • Harr, Karl Erik (1988) Guds nordenvind : vandringer med Petter Dass (Cappelen) ISBN 82-02-11336-9
  • Midbøe, Hans (1947) Petter Dass (Gyldendal) ISBN 82-05-23161-3
  • Nesset, Sigmund (1997) ‘Herr Petter 350 år : et festskrift fra Universitetet i Tromsø (Universitetsbiblioteket i Tromsø) ISBN 82-91378-14-2
  • Ustvedt, Yngvar (1976) Pa tomannshand med dikterne: Nye intervjuer med norske klassikere fra Petter Dass til Arnulf Øverland (Gyldendal) ISBN 978-8205088887

External links

link to all his works, at UiO.no
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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