poetry

Clark Ashton Smith – The Last of the Great Romantics

Clark Ashton Smith – The Last of the Great Romantics

On January 13, 1893, self-educated American poet, sculptor, painter Clark Ashton Smith was born. Smith achieved recognition as author of fantasy, horror and science fiction short stories. As a poet, Smith is grouped with the West Coast Romantics alongside Ambrose Bierce, Joaquin Miller, Sterling, Nora May French, and remembered as “The Last of the Great Romantics” and “The Bard of Auburn“. Together with Robert E. Howard and H. P. Lovecraft Smith was…
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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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Arthur Rimbaud and his Influence on Modernism

Arthur Rimbaud and his Influence on Modernism

On October 20, 1854, French poet Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud was born. Rimbaud is known for his influence on modern literature and arts, prefiguring surrealism. As a poet, Rimbaud is well known for his contributions to symbolism and, among other works, for A Season in Hell, a precursor to modernist literature. “Lighter than a cork I danced on the waves.” – Arthur Rimbaud, The Drunken Boat (1871) Arthur Rimbaud – Family Background…
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Sir Walter Scott and the Invention of the Historical Novel

Sir Walter Scott and the Invention of the Historical Novel

On August 15, 1771, Scottish historical novelist, poet, playwright, and historian Sir Walter Scott was born. He was one of the most widely read authors of his time – not only in Europe – and is traditionally considered the founder of the historical novel. Many of his historical novels have become classics and have served as models for numerous plays, operas and films. I remember as a child that I was watching the…
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Federico Garcia Lorca and the Renewal of Spanish Theatre

Federico Garcia Lorca and the Renewal of Spanish Theatre

On June 5, 1898, Spanish poet, playwright, and theatre director Federico Garcia Lorca was born. He is among the leading figures of the Generación del 27, which includes poets such as Vicente Aleixandre, Dámaso Alonso, Rafael Alberti, Pedro Salinas, Jorge Guillén and Gerardo Diego. Together with Ramón del Valle-Inclán, he renewed the Spanish theatre, which was frozen in late Romantic formulas and flat naturalism. Federico García Lorca – Youth in Granada Federico…
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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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Friedrich Schlegel – Towards a unifying Presentation of Philosophy, Prose, Poetry, Genius and Criticism

Friedrich Schlegel – Towards a unifying Presentation of Philosophy, Prose, Poetry, Genius and Criticism

On March 10, 1772, German poet, literary critic, philosopher, philologist and indologist Friedrich Schlegel was born. A zealous promoter of the Romantic movement, together with his older brother, August Wilhelm Schlegel, he was one of the main figures of the Jena romantics. Schlegel was a pioneer in Indo-European studies, comparative linguistics, and morphological typology. “It is equally deadly to the mind to have a system and not to have one. So it…
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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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Calderón de la Barca – one of the finest Playwrights of World Literature

Calderón de la Barca – one of the finest Playwrights of World Literature

On January 17, 1600, Spanish poet and playwright of the Spanish Golden Age Pedro Calderón de la Barca was born. His work being regarded as the culmination of the Spanish Baroque theatre. As such, he is regarded as one of Spain’s foremost dramatists and one of the finest playwrights of world literature. ¿Qué es la vida? Un frenesí. ¿Qué es la vida? Una ilusión, una sombra, una ficción, y el mayor bien…
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