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Paperback Selected Poetry Book

ISBN: 0140424563

ISBN13: 9780140424560

Selected Poetry

Goethe viewed the writing of poetry as essentially autobiographical, and the works selected in this volume represent more than sixty years in the life of the poet. In early poems such as 'Prometheus, ' he rails against religion in an almost ecstatic fervor, while 'To the Moon' is an enigmatic meditation on the end of a love affair. The Roman Elegies show Goethe's use of Classical meters in an homage to ancient Rome and its poets, and 'The Diary,...

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Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Greatness that does not translate

This is a dual language work. It is a rich selection of the poetry of one of the Western tradition's greatest poets. The German original is on the page in poetry, and below in smaller print is the English translation. I believe that only a person who knows German well can truly appreciate the greatness of Goethe's poetry. The English translations do not pretend to be poetry, and do not sound like it. They are made in a somewhat archaic, stilted language. I select one poem as an example a poem called ' Autumn Mood'. The translation reads as follows: ' More lushly green, you leaves on the vine trellis, grow here up my window!More thickly swell, twin berries, and ripen more quickly to more lustrous fullness!The parting gleam of your mother the sun broods over your birth; the sweet sky's fecund bounty suspires around you; the kindly moon breathes cooling magic upon you, and ah1these eyes bedew you with the full-flowing tears of love that eternally gives life." This despite the exclamation points does not ' sound' in English as it must in the original.

Good introduction to Goethe

This book is an ideal introduction to Goethe, perhaps a better place to start even than Faust (passages from which are included here). Poems from each period of Goethe's creative life are presented, starting with the youthful romantic and progessing through the elder mystic. All the most famous poems are here, many of which are or should be known to every German speaker. The poems are presented in German with simple English prose renderings below, so the ideal reader is one with a year or two of German, who will enjoy the originals with the help of a non-poetic translation.

A prose translation of Goethe's verse

Goethe reached heights, etheral and primordial, that other poets have reached but no one seems to just be able to linger there at will and take a stroll like he did. No poet is as thorough, myriad, piercing, and beautiful in observation about being, or the human condition and its relation to all things, as Goethe.

A useful anthology of Goethe's best verse

David Luke's edition of selected verse by Goethe provides the original German text and an English translation (usually in prose, though an exception is made in the case of "Nicolai on Werther's Grave," p. 27). This allows the reader who may not be fully conversant with German, or for whom it may be a bit rusty, to savor the word music of Goethe's original text. Significant excerpts from "Faust" appear, as well as a good cross-section of the other verse of this important world poet.

A wonderful edition

Solid translations and, like all the volumes in Princeton's 12-volume Goethe series, the book is attractive with great typography. Much easier on the eyes than the Penguin editions.This volume is a very accessible way to read Goethe for the first time, as well as revealing a new layer of depth for those who are more familiar with his essays and scientific studies.
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