Jeppe Aakjær, Denmark, 1866-1930

His name by birth was Jensen, while the name Aakjær originate from his little parish of birth in Jutland.

The parents were owners of the poorest farm of the parish, witch counted 6 farms. During his schooltime Jeppe demonstrated so good abilities, that his teacher took care that he was admitted to the highschool Staby near Ringkøbing in 1882 and thereafter at Blaagaard Seminarium (teacher training college) in 1884.

In Copenhagen he desirously sucked the activities and the stream of the time with an unfailing solidarity with the lowest classes of the society. After finishing his preliminary examination on july 1886 he returned home and gave some revolutionary lectures, which send him in prison for 17 days in Viborg.

Shortly after he became a student at Askov Highschool. Although the stay didn’t satisfy him the work as teacher suited hin well and he was employed as a highschool teacher, at first in Hjørlunde and from 1891-92 in Copenhagen (Highschool of Copenhagen). However he was fired because hes teaching was “undenominational”, among other things based on the theories of Darwin and the ideas of the radical Danish writer Georg Brandes.

As a consquence he had to rethink his whole life – and he wished to become a historian by profession. He studied history at the University of Copenhagen from 1892-1895, but did not finish the studies. For economical reasons he was forced to undertake many timeconsuming works such as proof reading, compilation of Parliament reports, teaching and more. The economical troubles was mainly because of his marriage with a farmers daughter from his native place, but the marriage did not last and in 1900 they became devorced.

Contribute to the interrupt of the studies was after all also the fact that he wanted to become a poet, to express and give a poetic fame to the old peasant culture and to give inspiration to the new times from the fundamental values of this old culture.

In 1907 Jeppe Aakjær with his new wife and his brother Jens settled in Jenle, about 10 kilometers outside the city of Skive in Jutland, to run a farm. But they did not succeed in make farming pay, so a syndicate took over the farm Jeppe and his wife Nanna remained at the farm though and in 1919 he re-bought the farm.

In the period 1910-1929 the couple every summer arranged a grandoise feast with 2000-8000 guests. There was held speeches, played music and more – all, with a contemporary writers words, “to strike a blow for the humbler members of the community””

Jeppe Aakjær died in his home on 22 april 1930.ær