Gesang...

  • Country in which the text is set
    Germany
  • Featured locations
    Kaliningrad (Königsberg)
  • Impact

    The poem is related to the origins of a High German poetry. Dach repeatedly refers to himself, with justified self-confidence, as the first real poet of Prussia―Diese Kunst der Deutschen Reime/ Lernet Preussen erst von mir,/ ... /Zwar man sang vor meinen Zeiten/ Aber ohn Geschick und Zier. (1658, Kelletat, 152): This artistry of German rhymes/ Prussia now learns first from me/ … /Although one sang before my time/ ‘twas without skill or filigree.). This poem refers to the real “founder” of this modern poetic form, Martin Optiz, the widely celebrated reformer who, with his treatise on German poetry (1624), his translations and his own verse, ensured that German poetry availed itself of the achievements of the Italian and French Renaissance. By elevating and refining German to a level that enabled it to replace Latin as the language of poets in the realm of “erudite poetry” he achieved a status in the eyes of his contemporary Dach that was equivalent to that of Orpheus and Virgil, the paradigmatic poets of antiquity.

    “Gesang ...” is among the less well-known of Dach’s poems and its influence has been restricted to scholarly research into the baroque era.

    Hans Peter Neureuter

  • Balticness

    Dach’s poems comment on literary life in Königsberg and the way it responded and contributed to the development to European Humanism and the Renaissance in the form of a down-to-earth “burgher baroque” style marked by certain touches of ‘local colour.’

  • Bibliographic information

    “Gesang ...” in Alfred Kelletat (ed.), Simon Dach und der Königsberger Dichterkreis, Stuttgart (Reclam, RUB 8281), 1986, 29-31.

    The full title of “Gesang ...” indicates the occasion and time of its writing: a visit by the renowned poet Martin Opitz to Königsberg on 29 July 1638 (which was also Dach’s thirty-third birthday). The verses were set to music by Heinrich Albert and sung by Königsberg students to mark the occasion; first published in 1640 in the second volume of Albert’s “Arien.”

  • Translations
    Language Year Translator
     Russian  1993  Sem Simkin
  • Year of first publication
    1640
  • Place of first publication
    Königsberg

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