Selected Poems

Northwestern University Press, 1998 - 175 sider
One of world literature's towering figures, Goethe dominated two centuries of European writing and thought. The Enlightenment's most wayward genius, and Romanticism's most remarkable, he led two great artistic movements without fully subscribing to either. While his stature in the English-speaking world is often acknowledged, his poems are little regarded, for the simple reason that they have proven untranslatable. But thanks to John Whaley's outstanding translation, Goethe's poetry can at last be appreciated in English, with all its grace, music, and humanity intact.

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May Song Maifest 1771
The New Amadis Der neue Amadis 1774
New Love New Life Neue Liebe neues Leben 1775
On the Lake Auf dem See 1775
To the Spirit of Johannes Secundus
Darling trees do you need telling 1780
Dedication Zueignung 1784
Sonnet Cycle Sonette 18078
Warning Warnung
Unless the eye had sunlike parts 1810
A Dying Fly Sterbende Fliege 1810
Spring All Year Through Frühling übers Jahr 1816
Eve of St Nepomuk St Nepomuks Vorabend 1820
Was soll ich nun vom Wiedersehen
Die Leidenschaft bringt

Venetian Epigrams Venetianische Epigramme 1790
Lovers Nearness Nähe des Geliebten 1796
The Metamorphosis of Plants Die Metamorphose
Nature and Art Natur und Kunst 1800
Testament Vermächtnis 1829151
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Om forfatteren (1998)

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1749-1832 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born in Frankfurt am Main. He was greatly influenced by his mother, who encouraged his literary aspirations. After troubles at school, he was taught at home and gained an exceptionally wide education. At the age of 16, Goethe began to study law at Leipzig University from 1765 to 1768, and he also studied drawing with Adam Oeser. After a period of illness, he resumed his studies in Strasbourg from 1770 to 1771. Goethe practiced law in Frankfurt for two years and in Wetzlar for a year. He contributed to the Frankfurter Gelehrte Anzeigen from 1772 to 1773, and in 1774 he published his first novel, self-revelatory Die Leiden des Jungen Werthers. In 1775 he was welcomed by Duke Karl August into the small court of Weimar, where he worked in several governmental offices. He was a council member and member of the war commission, director of roads and services, and managed the financial affairs of the court. Goethe was released from day-to-day governmental duties to concentrate on writing, although he was still general supervisor for arts and sciences, and director of the court theatres. In the 1790s Goethe contributed to Friedrich von Schiller ́s journal Die Horen, published Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, and continued his writings on the ideals of arts and literature in his own journal, Propyläen. The first part of his masterwork, Faust, appeared in 1808, and the second part in 1832. Goethe had worked for most of his life on this drama, and was based on Christopher Marlowe's Faust. From 1791 to 1817, Goethe was the director of the court theatres. He advised Duke Carl August on mining and Jena University, which for a short time attracted the most prominent figures in German philosophy. He edited Kunst and Altertum and Zur Naturwissenschaft. Goethe died in Weimar on March 22, 1832. He and Duke Schiller are buried together, in a mausoleum in the ducal cemetery.

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