- (1647-1707)A Norwegian poet of the Baroque period, Dass is known chiefly for his long descriptive poem Nordlands trompet (1739; tr. The Trumpet of Nordland, 1954), which he worked on from 1678 to approximately the year 1700. Dass, a minister in the Helgeland district of northern Norway, also wrote religious poetry designed to edify his parishoners, most notably Katechismus-sange (1714; Catechism Songs), which were finished before 1698. With their down-to-earth presentation of religious doctrines and duties, Dass's songs reached a large audience, and the best of them are still included in the hymnal of the Norwegian Evangelical-Lutheran state church. Dass was thoroughly acquainted with life among the fishers and small farmers of Helgeland, for he had been born and spent his early childhood there, and although educated both at the Cathedral School in Bergen and at the University of Copenhagen, he never lost touch with his origins. Much loved and respected by the people to whom he ministered, he was regarded as a leader spiritually, economically, and socially. Both his insider perspective on Norwegian life and his sense of humor are evident in his secular verse, chief among which is "Den Nordske Dale-Viise" (1683; The Norwegian Valley Song), written in the 1670s and in which he, among other things, relates his experience with bad food and lice-infested bedding.
Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Literature and Theater. Jan Sjavik. 2006.
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