- Kingo, Thomas
- (1634-1703)A Danish poet, Kingo was the embodiment of the baroque. With great intensity of feeling he wrote florid and hyperbolic poetry in praise of both God and man. Many of his occasional poems have been preserved, but his most significant achievement is his large number of religious poems and hymns, which have had a prominent place in the hymnals of both the Danish and the Norwegian state churches. Having taken a degree in theology, Kingo served in various ecclesiastical positions throughout his life, ultimately rising to the level of bishop.Many of Kingo's occasional poems were for the entertainment of friends at the Danish manor houses, but Hosianna (1671; Hosannah) was written for the crowning of King Christian V. Two long topographical poems are Kroneborgs korte Beskrivelse (1672; Short Description of Kronborg) and Samsøes korte Beskrivelse (1675; Short Description of Samsø). During the war against Sweden in 16751679, Kingo wrote verse descriptions of the events of the war, Ledings-Tog (1676-1677; War Expedition).Kingo's religious poetry was published in the two-part Aandelige Sjunge-Kor (1674-1681; Spiritual Singing Chorus), which contained morning songs, evening songs, versified versions of some of the psalms of David, and songs for various occasions; these songs were intended chiefly for use in the home. Two of the best-known songs are "Far, Verden, far vel" (Farewell, World) and "Sorrig og Glæde de vandre til Hobe" (Sorrow and Joy Walk Together). They express Kingo's view of the human condition in general.Having received a commission to produce a new Danish hymnal, Kingo wrote a number of hymns that were published as Vinter-Parten (1689; The Winter Part) and intended for use at church services. Many of these hymns emphasize humankind's obligation to submit to the will of God. In a social system where there was little distinction between divine and royal authority, Kingo served his king well.
Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Literature and Theater. Jan Sjavik. 2006.