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Introduction to German Poetry: A Dual-Language Book

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The poems in this anthology represent a panorama of the main trends in the development of the poetry of the German-speaking people. Beginning with a minnesong of the early Middle Ages and a poem of the seventeenth century, the book then focuses on the Age of Goethe (1749–1832). Inspired by Goethe and his contemporaries, German poetry was able to develop according to its ow The poems in this anthology represent a panorama of the main trends in the development of the poetry of the German-speaking people. Beginning with a minnesong of the early Middle Ages and a poem of the seventeenth century, the book then focuses on the Age of Goethe (1749–1832). Inspired by Goethe and his contemporaries, German poetry was able to develop according to its own genius and to advance along new lines that eventually led to the period of Expressionism and Post-Expressionism with which this anthology ends. Included here are the full German texts of 39 poems-lyrics, ballads, philosophical verse, humor, student songs-and three selections from longer works by Goethe, Novalis and Lenau. Some of the other poets represented are Walther von der Vogelweide, Schiller, Hölderlin, Heine, Rilke, Brecht, Hermann Hesse, Stefan George, Gryphius, Platen, Scheffel, Conrad Ferdinand Meyer and Albrecht Haushofer. For each poem, this book includes an expert literal English translation on the facing page. You'll also find a biographical and critical discussion of each poet, textual information and a portrait of the poet. Here is a wonderful opportunity to discover the depth and richness of the German poetic tradition, and learn the language at the same time.


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The poems in this anthology represent a panorama of the main trends in the development of the poetry of the German-speaking people. Beginning with a minnesong of the early Middle Ages and a poem of the seventeenth century, the book then focuses on the Age of Goethe (1749–1832). Inspired by Goethe and his contemporaries, German poetry was able to develop according to its ow The poems in this anthology represent a panorama of the main trends in the development of the poetry of the German-speaking people. Beginning with a minnesong of the early Middle Ages and a poem of the seventeenth century, the book then focuses on the Age of Goethe (1749–1832). Inspired by Goethe and his contemporaries, German poetry was able to develop according to its own genius and to advance along new lines that eventually led to the period of Expressionism and Post-Expressionism with which this anthology ends. Included here are the full German texts of 39 poems-lyrics, ballads, philosophical verse, humor, student songs-and three selections from longer works by Goethe, Novalis and Lenau. Some of the other poets represented are Walther von der Vogelweide, Schiller, Hölderlin, Heine, Rilke, Brecht, Hermann Hesse, Stefan George, Gryphius, Platen, Scheffel, Conrad Ferdinand Meyer and Albrecht Haushofer. For each poem, this book includes an expert literal English translation on the facing page. You'll also find a biographical and critical discussion of each poet, textual information and a portrait of the poet. Here is a wonderful opportunity to discover the depth and richness of the German poetic tradition, and learn the language at the same time.

30 review for Introduction to German Poetry: A Dual-Language Book

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mir

    I assume from the price and range of content that this collection is intended for students. It's suitable enough for that -- it presents a selection of most influential and well-known German poets, along with a brief, lucid description of each poet's major themes and circles. There is also an introduction to the subject of German poetry in general, which is about as adequate as you could expect in under three pages. The shortcoming of this book is the quality of the translation itself. I don't k I assume from the price and range of content that this collection is intended for students. It's suitable enough for that -- it presents a selection of most influential and well-known German poets, along with a brief, lucid description of each poet's major themes and circles. There is also an introduction to the subject of German poetry in general, which is about as adequate as you could expect in under three pages. The shortcoming of this book is the quality of the translation itself. I don't know if it is all done by the same translator -- that information is, oddly, not provided -- but it is a strictly literal translation with very rarely any attempt to reproduce the rhythm, rhyme-scheme, or even mood of the originals. This is fine if you are a German language student and just want the translations in case you get stuck, or if you only want to be generally familiar with the subject, but I can't imagine this volume would inspire anyone with a passion to read further, and that's a pity.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jon Nakapalau

    So many German poets that I have never heard of - discovered Albrecht Haushofer and Christian Morgenstern - and many others who have been neglected outside of German speaking countries for years. Excellent introduction.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Reading poetry in the original language is one of the great benefits of studying German (or any language). It is a particularly good way of gaining insight to the way native-speakers expect the language to flow, and will help you understand the beauty of the language. It also opens you up to new ways of thinking in your own language. The nice thing about a dual-language reader like this is that you can come back to it at various stages in your language progress and see how much more you understa Reading poetry in the original language is one of the great benefits of studying German (or any language). It is a particularly good way of gaining insight to the way native-speakers expect the language to flow, and will help you understand the beauty of the language. It also opens you up to new ways of thinking in your own language. The nice thing about a dual-language reader like this is that you can come back to it at various stages in your language progress and see how much more you understand from the German-side of the book, but still get the gist at early stages in your study (the disadvantage is that lazy people will just read the English and miss the entire point). As a collection of poetry in German, this book has some problems. It is really too short to cover everything, and so biases itself towards well-known and less challenging work. It is very strong on poets from Germany, but not on Austrians or Swiss writing in German. It emphasizes the romantic period very heavily, which is understandable as there was much great German romantic poetry, but it does so to the severe disadvantage of realism, naturalism, and expressionism. By far the vast majority of the poets here were contemporaneous with Goethe (or at least were born before he died), and only a very few at the back lived to see the twentieth century. Only one or two were active after 1945 (and I believe all of the poems are older than that). Each poet gets only one or occasionally two poems to represent their work, so this is more of a sampler than an overview. Still, it could have definite advantages for teaching purposes. Because the poems are short, students will not get lost or feel overwhelmed. Because there are many different poets, it is less likely that students will get bored with one style. Because these are the poets that most students will have heard of, their interest may be stimulated. It isn't a great literary experience, but it is useful for German students and also could be of interest in introducing a literature student to the names they should know from Germany.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Fasching-Gray

    It's just the tiniest taste of German poetry but that is what makes such a good place to start. The point here is to read the German and only check the English translation when there is something you don't get... the English translations are just there for convenience, I think. This ends kind of abruptly with Brecht. I think it is time for a new edition with some more recent voices. It's just the tiniest taste of German poetry but that is what makes such a good place to start. The point here is to read the German and only check the English translation when there is something you don't get... the English translations are just there for convenience, I think. This ends kind of abruptly with Brecht. I think it is time for a new edition with some more recent voices.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Daizee101

    Good selection of poems. Biography on each poet helps to place their work in the literary canon and to learn more about the poets themselves. Really helpful for someone who has not engaged with German poetry before. However, there is too much emphasis placed upon Romanticism; I'd rather have encountered a more even spread of poetry, including poets of the present day. Good selection of poems. Biography on each poet helps to place their work in the literary canon and to learn more about the poets themselves. Really helpful for someone who has not engaged with German poetry before. However, there is too much emphasis placed upon Romanticism; I'd rather have encountered a more even spread of poetry, including poets of the present day.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Amelia

    A collection of German poems (auf Deutsch and also translated into English) from across time. it includes both comic and tragic, delicate and disturbing. It's an enjoyable introduction to German poetry and poets. The paperback version (which I read) has the translations on the opposite page, which is convenient for reading. I don't know how the Kindle version is laid out. A collection of German poems (auf Deutsch and also translated into English) from across time. it includes both comic and tragic, delicate and disturbing. It's an enjoyable introduction to German poetry and poets. The paperback version (which I read) has the translations on the opposite page, which is convenient for reading. I don't know how the Kindle version is laid out.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Evans

    Nice book for students of the German language. Includes a good selection of classic poetry.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Julio

  9. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

  10. 4 out of 5

    David

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bryan Norton

  12. 4 out of 5

    Craig

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carmen

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jodi

  15. 4 out of 5

    Vicky

  16. 4 out of 5

    Marielle

  17. 5 out of 5

    John

  18. 4 out of 5

    Virginprune

  19. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Moore

  20. 4 out of 5

    Natalie J.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  22. 4 out of 5

    Joanna

  23. 4 out of 5

    Debora

  24. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Lang

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

  26. 5 out of 5

    Robert Costic

  27. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rachelle

  29. 4 out of 5

    Boritabletennis

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jon-Erik

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