The Poems of Goethe

By Edgar Alfred Bowring; Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | Go to book overview

WEST-EASTERN DIVAN.

Who the song would understand, Needs must seek the song's own land. Who the minstrel understand, Needs must seek the minstrel's land.

THE Poems comprised in this collection are written in the Persian style, and are greatly admired by Oriental scholars, for the truthfulness with which the Eastern spirit of poetry is reproduced by the Western minstrel. They were chiefly composed between the years 1814 and 1819, and first given to the world in the latter year. Of the twelve books into which they are divided, that of Suleika will probably be considered the best, from the many graceful lovesongs which it contains. The following is Heine's account of the Divan, and may well serve as a substitute for anything I could say respecting it: --

"It contains opinions and sentiments on the East, expressed in a series of rich cantos and stanzas full of sweetness and spirit, and all this as enchanting as a harem emitting the most delicious and rare perfumes, and blooming with exquisitely-lovely nymphs with eyebrows painted black, eyes piercing as those of the antelope, arms white as alabaster, and of the most graceful and perfectlyformed shapes, while the heart of the reader beats and grows faint, as did that of the happy Gaspard Debaran, the clown, who, when on the highest step of his ladder, was enabled to peep into the Seraglio of Constantinople -- that recess concealed from the inspection of man. Sometimes also the reader may imagine himself indolently stretched on a carpet of Persian softness, luxuriously smoking the yellow tobacco of Turkistan through a long tube of jessamine and amber, while a black slave fans him with a fan of peacock's feathers, and a little boy presents him with a cup of genuine Mocha. Goethe has put these enchanting and voluptuous customs into poetry, and his verses are so perfect, so harmonious, so tasteful, so soft, that it seems really surprising that he should ever have been able to have brought the German language to this state of suppleness. The charm of the book is inexplicable; it is a votive nosegay sent from the West to the East, composed of the most precious and curious plants: red roses, hortensias like the breast of a spotless maiden, purple digitales like the long finger of a man, fantastically formed ranunculi, and in the midst of all, silent and tastefully concealed, a tuft of German violets. This nosegay signifies that the West is tired of thin and icy-cold spirituality, and seeks warmth in the strong and healthy bosom of the East."

-362-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Poems of Goethe
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • The Translator's Original Dedication iii
  • Original Preface iv
  • Preface to the Second Edition vii
  • Contents ix
  • Dedication 17
  • Songs 20
  • Familiar Songs 79
  • Ballads 100
  • Cantatas 150
  • Odes 160
  • Miscellaneous Poems 183
  • Sonnets 214
  • Epigrams 222
  • Parables 228
  • Art 247
  • God, Soul, and World 256
  • Religion and Church 263
  • Antiques 268
  • Elegies 279
  • West-Eastern Divan 362
  • Songs from Various Plays, Etc. 390
  • Epilogue - To Schiller's "Song of the Bell." 409
  • L'Envoi 412
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 412

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.