Why read Goethe’s poetry today? Ours is an age which prizes both individual self-development and cultural diversity. Goethe (1749-1832) was the first major poet to show how these two values could be combined. Goethe, who coined the term “world literature,” explored a wide variety of subject matter, from love and creativity, to nature and religion. For Goethe life is a process with no final answers: “All meaning is only asking.” This selection of Goethe’s poetry aims to represent its formal and thematic variety in readable verse translations.