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Intellect

July 30 hike honors 100th birthday of Dag Hammarskjöld

Former General Secretary of the United Nations

Several organizations at Brigham Young University are hosting a hike up Grove Creek Canyon Saturday, July 30, to honor Dag Hammarskjöld's 100th birthday.

The public is welcome to participate in the hike. Participants should meet at the top of 1100 North in Pleasant Grove at 7 a.m.

Hammarskjöld served as the General Secretary of the United Nations from 1953 until his death in 1961. Prior to his death, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for outstanding public service and extraordinary international leadership.

He served with distinction until he died on a peacekeeping mission to Africa in September 1961.

The hike is being sponsored by BYU's Linguistics and English Language Graduate Student Association, the Center for Language Studies, the Single Adult Alumni Association and the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies.

As a young man, Hammarskjöld studied humanities at Uppsala University in Sweden, with interests in linguistics, literature, and history. He had a "wide acquaintance with both classical and modern literature," including a fondness for the poetry of Emily Dickinson, according to Cynthia L. Hallen of the BYU linguistics faculty.

When he first read Dickinson in the early 1920s, he was so impressed that he recommended her poems to fellow students. His personal copy of "The Poems by Emily Dickinson" is part of the Dag Hammarskjöld collection at the Kungliga Bibliotek in Stockholm, Sweden.

Dickinson's books may have been a source of inspiration for "Markings," Hammarskjöld's book of prose aphorisms and short poems.

Shortly after graduating from college he began recording his contemplations in a secret manuscript that was published after his death by his friend Leif Belfrage.

Poets Leif Sjoberg and W.H. Auden translated the 1963 Swedish edition of Hammarskjöld's book into English, and Alfred A. Knopf published it in 1964 with the title "Markings."

Hammarskjöld's book quickly became a bestseller, hailed as "one of the most remarkable manuscripts" of that era, said Hallen.

For more information, regarding the hike or Hammarskjöld, contact Cynthia L. Hallen at (801) 422-2020.

Writer: James McCoy

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