Jónas Hallgrímsson

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Born: 16 November 1807

Died: 26 May 1845

Jónas Hallgrímsson is the best loved and most admired poet of modern Iceland: ástmögur þjóðarinnar ("the darling of the nation"). "He is the only Icelandic poet," Þorsteinn Gíslason observed in 1903, "who has become the founder of a whole school of poets: pioneer of a new movement in poetry and literature" (JH10). His work transformed the literary sensibility of his countrymen, reshaped the language of their poetry and prose, opened their eyes to the beauty of their land and its natural features, and accelerated their determination to achieve political independence. Halldór Laxness calls him the "poet of Icelandic consciousness". But although he is indisputably a "national poet" --- and a fine one --- there is nothing parochial about his work. His greatest poems rise far above local concerns and limitations.

Copyright © 1996-8 Dick Ringler.

View the Wikipedia article on Jónas Hallgrímsson.

Settings of his poetic works

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