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Poetry German

Goethe's Poems

by (author) Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

translated by Graham Good

Ronsdale Press
Initial publish date
Feb 2015
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2015
    List Price

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Goethe's poetry has delighted readers around the world for over two centuries, but for English readers there was clearly a need for a new contemporary translation. In an age which prizes both individual self-development and cultural diversity, one looks to Goethe (1749-1832) as the first writer to show how these two values could be combined. Goethe was a global thinker, learning from the lyric poetry of countries such as Persia and China, and coining the term "world literature" (Weltliteratur). His poetry encompasses a wide variety of themes, 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 verse translations which follow the formal patterns as far as possible, while rendering the sense in an idiom accessible to readers of modern poetry in English.

About the authors

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's profile page

Graham Good resides in Vancouver and teaches English and Comparative Literature at the University of British Columbia. He has wide interests, ranging from European literature to Buddhist philosophy, and has published books on contemporary literary theory, Humanism Betrayed: Theory, Ideology and Culture in the Contemporary University (Kingston and Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2001), and on the essay as a literary form, The Observing Self: Rediscovering the Essay (London and New York: Routledge, 1988).

Graham Good's profile page

Other titles by Graham Good