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The Cambridge Introduction to German Poetry


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Table of Contents

Preface; Acknowledgments; 1. Exploring the poem; 2. Poetic roles in early song-lyrics; 3. Devotional poetry; 4. The rhetoric of passion; 5. Classical Antiquity and modern experience; 6. Romantic poetry and the problem of lyric unity; 7. The self and the senses; 8. Modernism and difficulty; 9. Poetry after Auschwitz; 10. The strain of political poetry; Working on the text; Writing up your close reading; German metrics; Index.

Promotional Information

Exploring traditional poems alongside new examples, this Introduction conveys the rich rewards that come with reading German poetry.

About the Author

Judith Ryan is Robert K. and Dale J. Weary Professor of German and Comparative Literature at Harvard University.


'Judith Ryan's superb new introduction to German poetry is to be welcomed on any number of fronts: it is unimpeachable in its treatment of major texts from the German-language lyric canon, presenting these with a richness and verve which should appeal both to the conventional readership of an 'introduction' and to those with a serious existing interest in German poetry; it combines formidable scholarship - ranging from medieval to contemporary poetry - with an admirable lightness of touch.' Ian Cooper, Modern Language Review
'This is an exceptional book: despite being billed as an introduction, it has as much to offer to specialists as to novice readers, and it combines a clear sense of literary and historical context with nuanced readings of individual poems, allowing those not familiar with them to get a first taste of the real thing rather than second-hand descriptions, while also setting out the reasons why particular texts are chosen and offering brief but illuminating comments on their textual history.' Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies

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