Karl Fredrik Dahlgren - Encyclopedia




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KARL FREDRIK DAHLGREN (1791-1844), Swedish poet, was born at Stensbruk in Ostergiitland on the 20th of June 1791. At a time when literary partisanship ran high in Sweden, and the writers divided themselves into "Goths" and "Phosphorists," Dahlgren made himself indispensable to the Phosphorists by his polemical activity. In the mock-heroic poem of Markalls somnlosa nutter (Markall's Sleepless Nights), in which the Phosphorists ridiculed the academician Per Adam Wallmark and others, Dahlgren, who was a genuine humorist, took a prominent part. In 1825 he published Babels Torn (The Tower of Babel), a satire, and a comedy, Argus in Olympen; and in 1828 two volumes of poems. In 182 9 he was appointed to an ecclesiastical post in Stockholm, which he held until his death. In a series of odes and dithyrambic pieces, entitled Mollbergs Epistlar (1819, 1820), he strove to emulate the wonderful lyric genius of K. M. Bellman, of whom he was a student and follower. From 1825 to 1827 he edited a critical journal entitled Kometen (The Comet), and in company with Almqvist he founded the Manhemsfdrbund, a short-lived society of agricultural socialists. In 1834 he collected his poems in one volume; and in 1837 appeared his last book, Angbats-Sanger (Steamboat Songs). On the 1st of May 1844 he died at Stockholm. Dahlgren is one of the best humorous writers that Sweden has produced; but he was perhaps at his best in realistic and idyllic description. His little poem of Zephyr and the Girl, which is to be found in every selection from Swedish poetry, is a good example of his sensuous and ornamented style.

His works were collected and published after his death by A. J. Arwidsson (5 vols., Stockholm, 1847-1852).

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