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Selected Poetry : Penguin Classics - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Selected Poetry

Penguin Classics


Published: 28th April 2005
For Ages: 18+ years old
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Published: 28th April 2005
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Goethe viewed the writing of poetry as essentially autobiographical and the works selected in this volume represent over sixty years in the life of the poet. In early poems such as 'Prometheus', he rails against religion in an almost ecstatic fervour, while 'To the Moon' is an enigmatic meditation on the end of a love affair. The Roman Elegies show Goethe's use of Classical metres in a homage to ancient Rome and its poets, and 'The Diary', suppressed for more than a century, is a narrative poem whose eroticism is unusually combined with its morality. And in selections from both parts of Faust, arguably his greatest and most profoundly personal work, Goethe creates an exhilarating depiction of humankind's eternal search for truth.

Arranged chronologically, David Luke's verse translations are set alongside the German originals to give a picture of Goethe's poetic development. This edition also includes an introduction and notes placing the poems in the context of the poet's life and times.

About The Author

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born in Frankfurt-on-Main in 1749. He studied at Leipzig, where he showed interest in the occult, and at Strassburg, where Herder introduced him to Shakespeare’s works and to folk poetry. He produced some essays and lyrical verse, and at twenty-two wrote Götz von Berlichingen, a play which brought him national fame and established him in the current Sturm und Drang movement. This was followed by the novel The Sorrows of Young Werther in 1774, which was an even greater success.

Goethe began work on Faust, and Egmont, another tragedy before being invited to join the government of Weimar. His interest in the classical world led him to leave suddenly for Italy in 1786 and the Italian Journey recounts his travels there. Iphigenia in Tauris and Torquato Tasso, classical dramas, were written at this time. Returning to Weimar, Goethe started the second part of Faust, encouraged by Schiller. In 1806 he married Christiane Vulpius.

During this late period he finished his series of Wilhelm Master books and wrote many other works, including The Oriental Divan (1819). He also directed the State Theatre and worked on scientific theories in evolutionary botany, anatomy and color. Goethe completed Faust in 1832, just before he died.

Bibliographical note and acknowledgementsp. xi
Introductionp. xiii
The younger Goethe (1770-1786)
May Song / Mailiedp. 3
Welcome and Parting / Willkommen und Abschiedp. 5
Ganymede / Ganymedp. 7
Prometheus / Prometheusp. 11
From the 'Urfaust', c. 1774
'Well, that's Philosophy I've read' (lines 354-97) / 'Habe nun, ach! Philosophie'p. 15
'In life like a flood' (501-9) / 'In Lebensfluten'p. 17
'There once was a king' (2759-82) / 'Es war ein Konig in Thule'p. 19
'My heart's so heavy' (3374-413) / 'Meine Ruh ist hin'p. 21
'What are the joys of heaven' (3345-65) / 'Was ist die Himmelsfreud'p. 23
'Who killed me dead?' (4412-20) / 'Meine Mutter, die Hur'p. 25
On the Lake / Auf dem Seep. 27
Restless Love / Rastlose Liebep. 29
'Why was deep insight given to us' / 'Warum gabst du uns die tiefen Blicke'p. 31
A Wanderer's Night Song I: 'Messenger of heaven' / Wandrers Nachtlied I: 'Der du von dem Himmel bist'p. 35
A Wanderer's Night Song II: 'Now stillness covers' / Wandrers Nachtlied II: 'Uber allen Gipfeln'p. 35
To the Moon (First version) / An den Mond (Erste Fassung)p. 37
To the Moon (Final version) / An den Mond (Letzte Fassung)p. 39
The Fisherman / Der Fischerp. 41
The Elf King / Erlkonigp. 43
[The Song of the Fates] / [Das Lied der Parzen]p. 47
Human Limitations / Grenzen der Menschheitp. 49
Divinity / Das Gottlichep. 53
'Oh do you know the land' / 'Kennst du das Land'p. 57
'Only the lonely heart' / 'Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt'p. 59
'Who never wept to eat his bread' / 'Wer nie sein Brot mit Tranen a[beta]'p. 59
Anacreon's Grave / Anakreons Grabp. 61
Classical and middle years (1786-1810)
From the Roman Elegies, 1788-90
II. 'Speak to me, stones' / 'Saget, Steine, mir an'p. 65
III. 'More than I ever had hoped' / 'Mehr als ich ahndete schon'p. 65
VII. 'Now on classical soil I stand' / 'Froh empfind ich mich nun'p. 69
XV. 'Eros was ever a rogue' / 'Amor bleibet ein Schalk'p. 71
XVII. 'You were two perilous serpents' / 'Zwei gefahrliche Schlangen'p. 75
XVIII. 'Caesar would hardly have got me' / 'Casarn war ich wohl nie'p. 77
XXIII. 'Strength, and a bold and liberal' / 'Zieret Starke den Mann'p. 81
XXIV. 'Once in the garden's far corner' / 'Hinten im Winkel des Gartens'p. 83
From the Venetian Epigrams, 1790
1. 'Pagan burial-urns and sarcophagi' / 'Sarkophagen und Urnen'p. 87
9. 'Give me, Priapus, another name for it!' / 'Gib mir statt "der Schwanz"'p. 87
16. 'If I'd the husband I need' / 'War ich ein hausliches Weib'p. 89
21. 'Dear little shape that might have' / 'Wie von der kunstlichsten Hand'p. 89
28. 'Show us the parts of the Lord!' / 'Heraus mit dem Teile des Herrn!'p. 89
30. 'Goats, go and stand on my left!' / 'Bocke, zur Linken mit euch!'p. 91
33. 'Oh, how intently I used to observe' / 'O wie achtet ich sonst'p. 91
40. 'It is such joy to hug my beloved' / 'Wonniglich ists, die Geliebte'p. 91
Miscellaneous classical epigrams, c. 1796
'"Why", asked Beauty, "oh Zeus,"' / 'Warum bin ich verganglich'p. 93
'True love is love that stays constant' / 'Das ist die wahre Liebe'p. 93
'Whom shall you trust, honest friend?' / 'Wem zu glauben ist'p. 93
'Strive towards wholeness' / 'Immer strebe zum Ganzen'p. 93
'Let us not all be the same' / 'Gleich sei keiner dem andern'p. 93
From Hermann and Dorothea, 1796-7
'Thus the men talked' (Canto IV, lines 1-64) / 'Also sprachen die Manner'p. 95
'So together they walked' (Canto VIII, 1-104) / 'Also gingen die zwei'p. 99
From Faust Part One, 1797-1808
Dedication (lines 1-32) / Zueignungp. 107
[Song of the Archangels] (243-70) / [Gesang der Erzengel]p. 109
'Ice thaws on the river' (903-40) / 'Vom Eise befreit'p. 111
'In the beginning was the Word' (1224-37) / 'Geschrieben steht'p. 113
The God and the Dancing-girl / Der Gott und die Bajaderep. 115
Permanence in Change / Dauer im Wechselp. 121
Nature and Art / Natur und Kunstp. 125
Nocturne / Nachtgesangp. 127
The Diary / Das Tagebuchp. 129
The later Goethe (1810-1832)
From the West-Eastern Divan, 1814-1818
Hegira / Hegirap. 145
Singing and Shaping / Lied und Gebildep. 147
A Phenomenon / Phanomenp. 149
A Past within the Present / Im gegenwartigen Vergangenesp. 149
Talismans / Talismanep. 153
Unbounded / Unbegrenztp. 155
Suleika speaks / Suleika sprichtp. 157
The Secret / Geheimesp. 157
Engulfed / Versunkenp. 159
'Love for love and hour for hour' / 'Lieb um Liebe, Stund um Stunde'p. 161
'Beloved, let me show you' / 'An vollen Buschelzweigen'p. 161
'As I sailed on the Euphrates' / 'Als ich auf dem Euphrat schiffte'p. 163
'This I'm happy to interpret!' / 'Dies zu deuten bin erbotig!'p. 163
Ginkgo biloba / Gingo bilobap. 165
The Night of the Full Moon / Vollmondnachtp. 165
'West wind, how I envy you' / 'Ach, um deine feuchten Schwingen'p. 167
'King Behramgur, they say, invented' / 'Behramgur, sagt man, hat den Reim'p. 169
Summer Night / Sommernachtp. 171
'Well, so at last I've learnt' / 'So hab ich endlich'p. 175
Privileged Animals / Begunstigte Tierep. 177
Higher and Highest Matters / Hoheres und Hochstesp. 179
Ecstatic Longing / Selige Sehnsuchtp. 183
Miscellaneous late poems and epigrams
Old Age / Das Alterp. 185
Advertisement / Annoncep. 184
'If a man's dead idle' / 'Wer aber recht bequem ist'p. 185
'A man's a misfit' / 'Dem ist es schlecht'p. 185
'The hero Napoleon came' / 'Am Jungsten Tag'p. 187
[The Death of a Fly] / [Fliegentod]p. 187
At Midnight / Um Mitternachtp. 189
Primal Words. Orphic / Urworte. Orphischp. 191
The Pariah / Paria
The Pariah's Prayer / Des Paria Gebetp. 193
Legend / Legendep. 195
The Pariah's Thanksgiving / Dank des Pariap. 205
A Trilogy of Passion / Trilogie der Leidenschaft
To Werther / An Wertherp. 205
Elegy / Elegiep. 209
Reconcilement / Aussohnungp. 219
The Bridegroom / Der Brautigamp. 221
[On Contemplating Schiller's Skull] / [Bei Betrachtung von Schillers Schadel]p. 223
'Dusk has fallen' / 'Dammrung senkte sich von oben'p. 225
To the Rising Full Moon / Dem aufgehenden Vollmondep. 227
[A Legacy] / [Vermachtnis]p. 227
From Faust Part Two, 1800-1831
'When a fragrance has descended' (lines 4634-65) / 'Wenn sich lau die Lufte fullen'p. 229
'How strong and pure the pulse' (4679-727) / 'Des Lebens Pulse schlagen'p. 231
'So much admired and so much censured' (8488-515) / 'Bewundert viel und viel'p. 235
'The jagged summits on its mountain' (9526-61) / 'Und duldet auch auf seiner Berge'p. 237
'We shall dwell amid this tremor' (9992-10038) / 'Wir in dieser tausend Aste'p. 239
'A watchman by calling' (11288-303) / 'Zum Sehen geboren'p. 243
'Woods, hitherwavering' (11844-89) / 'Waldung, sie schwankt heran'p. 245
'All that must disappear' (12104-11) / 'Alles Vergangliche'p. 247
Notesp. 249
Index of German titles and first linesp. 276
Index of English titles and first linesp. 280
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780140424560
ISBN-10: 0140424563
Series: Penguin Classics
Audience: General
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 28th April 2005
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.9 x 12.9  x 2.0
Weight (kg): 0.25
Edition Number: 1