Opitz, Martin

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Opitz, Martin

Martin Opitz (mär´tĬn ō´pĬts), 1597–1639, leader of the Silesian school of German poetry. His influence as poet, critic, and metrical reformer was widely recognized during his time; he was ennobled as Opitz von Boberfeld by Emperor Ferdinand II in Vienna. Opitz's poems, written during the Thirty Years War, reflect shifting religious and worldly loyalties; Lob des Krieges-Gottes [in praise of the god of war] preceded only briefly Trost Gedichte in Widerwertigkeit des Krieges [comfort poems in troubled war times] (1633). Opitz's greatest contribution to the literary arts was his Buch von der deutschen Poeterey [book on German poetry] (1624). His translation of Rinuccini's Dafne became the libretto for the first German opera.

See study by B. Ulmer (1971).

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