Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 23

Emanuel Geibel


Poet, born in Lübeck, N Germany. Son of a parish priest, he studied theology and philosophy, then became a teacher and professor of literature in Munich, whose literary and aesthetic circle he led together with Heyse, and also met Chamisso and Eichendorff. His conservatism earned him the hostility of the radical ‘Junges Deutschland’ writers. Classical in style, his poems, such as Zeitstimmen (1841), Juniuslieder (1848), and Spätherbstblätter (1877), are basically late Romantic in content. While the more patriotically grandiloquent soon fell out of favour, others with the emotional immediacy of folksong remain esteemed today, such as Der Mai ist gekommen which is still widely sung. His tragedies also proved failures, but his translations of Spanish and French poems and the comedy Meister Andrea(1855) have survived.

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