poetry

The Sensibility of Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock

The Sensibility of Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock

On July 2, 1724, German poet Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock was born. One of his major contributions to German literature was to open it up to exploration outside of French models. Klopstock is considered an important representative of sensibility. “The God who created these fair heavens with the same facility as yon green sapling; he who hath bestowed on man a life of toil, of transient joys and fleeting pains, that he might…
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Gabriel Dante Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

Gabriel Dante Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

On May 12, 1828, English poet, illustrator, painter and translator Gabriel Charles Dante Rossetti, generally known as Gabriel Dante Rossetti, was born. Rossetti founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 with William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais. Later he became the main inspiration for a second generation of artists and writers influenced by the movement, most notably William Morris [1] and Edward Burne-Jones. “I am not as these are, the poet saith…
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Modernism and Poetic Tradition – the Works of Rainer Maria Rilke

Modernism and Poetic Tradition – the Works of Rainer Maria Rilke

On December 4, 1875, Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist Rainer Maria Rilke was born. With his dingly poetry, completed in the New Poems and influenced by the visual arts, he is considered one of the most important poets of literary modernism. From Rilke’s work there are several stories, a novel and essays on art and culture as well as numerous translations of literature and poetry. His extensive correspondence is considered an important part…
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The Poetry of Walt Whitman

The Poetry of Walt Whitman

On May 31, 1819, American poet, essayist and journalist Walt Whitman was born. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. “It is a beautiful truth that all men contain something of the artist in them. And perhaps it is the case that…
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The Satirical and Discursive Poetry of Alexander Pope

The Satirical and Discursive Poetry of Alexander Pope

On May 21, 1688, English poet Alexander Pope was born. Pope is regarded as one of the greatest English poets, and the foremost poet of the early eighteenth century. He is best known for his satirical and discursive poetry, including The Rape of the Lock, The Dunciad, and An Essay on Criticism, as well as for his translation of Homer. “Nature and nature’s laws lay hid in night; God said “Let Newton…
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The Expressionistic Power of The Poems of Georg Trakl

The Expressionistic Power of The Poems of Georg Trakl

On February 3, 1887, Austrian poet Georg Trakl was born. Trakl is most probably the most important Austrian poet of Expressionism with strong influences of Symbolism. However, it is not possible to clearly assign his poetic works to one of the almost simultaneous currents of literary history of the 20th century. Verwandlung (2. Fassung) Entlang an Gärten, herbstlich, rotversengt: Hier zeigt im Stillen sich ein tüchtig Leben. Des Menschen Hände tragen braune…
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Giovanni Boccaccio and his Famous Decameron

Giovanni Boccaccio and his Famous Decameron

On December 21, 1375, Italian author, poet, correspondent of Petrarch, and important Renaissance humanist Giovanni Boccaccio passed away. He is best known for his masterpiece ‘The Decameron‘ told as a frame story encompassing 100 tales. You haven’t heart about the ‘Decameron‘? You definitely should, simply because it is the masterpiece of European Renaissance literature. In its 100 stories it provides us with an intimate contemporary view into medieval and early Renaissance European…
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The Meistersinger of Nuremberg – Hans Sachs

The Meistersinger of Nuremberg – Hans Sachs

On November 5, 1494, German Meistersinger (master singer), poet, playwright, and shoemaker Hans Sachs was born. His work is considered the most important testimony of the bourgeois imperial town culture of the 16th century. What is a Meistersinger? What makes Hans Sachs so special – although you might have never heart of him – is his profession as being a ‘Meistersinger’. Actually, he is also the only ‘Meistersinger’ whose fame lasted over the…
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Andreas Gryphius – Master Poet of the German Baroque

Andreas Gryphius – Master Poet of the German Baroque

On October 11, 1616, German Baroque lyric poet and dramatist Andreas Gryphius was born. For his poems and tragedies Gryphius chose the topics of pain and moral decay during the times of the Thirty Years’ War as well as human restlessness, solitude and inner conflicts. Unless you have attended a German highschool or have a strong interest in baroque poetry, you might have never heard of him. Back at school, we had to…
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Dante Alighieri and the Divine Comedy

Dante Alighieri and the Divine Comedy

In the night from September 13 to 14, 1321, major Italian poet Dante Alighieri passed away. His Divine Comedy is widely considered the greatest literary work composed in the Italian language and a masterpiece of world literature. Together with his poet colleagues Petrarch [7] and Boccaccio,[8] Dante – the ‘supreme poet’ (il Sommo Poeta) – is referred to as “the three crowns” or “the three fountains”. Moreover, he is also called the “Father of the…
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