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 Goethes use of Classical meters in an homage to ancient Rome and its poets, and The Diary, suppressed for more than a century, is a narrative poem whose eroticism is combined with its morality. In selections from "Faust," arguably his greatest and most personal work, Goethe creates an exhilarating depiction of humankinds eternal search for truth. Faithful and felicitous, these verse translations . . . are an excellent introduction to [Goethes] genius. "The Daily Telegraph" (London)
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Dearest and best with my whole heart I love thee
Methinks he draws light magic threads around
Clustering grapes invite the hand
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ALTMAYER art thou Arthur Rackham AUERBACH'S CELLAR blank verse Blocksberg blood bosom brain BRANDER breast breath Brocken charm child chorus creature crowd cursed dance death delight devil dream earth evermore everything evil eyes fancy FAUST Oh fear feel FROSCH girl give glass Goethe Goethe's gone happy Harry Clarke hath hear heart Heaven hour hurry kiss life's light live look magic man's MARGARET MARTHA MEPHISTOPHELES Oh merry mong mysterious nature never night o'er OBERON once passion pentagram play pleasant pleasure poem rest rock round seek Semichorus sense SIEBEL sight sing smile song soon soul spirit strange STUDENT sweet thee thine thou art thou hast thought throng TITANIA translation trembling trochaic twill VALENTINE vext voice WAGNER Walpurgis night wander wildfire will-o'-the-wisp wine winglet wish WITCH withered words yonder young