chapter  Chapter Two
10 Pages

The Lyric Poetry of the Aufklärung

WithS. S. Prawer

Epiktet may be fairly said to represent one of the two dominant trends of Aufklärung poetry. Its theme relates it to the poetry of an earlier generation; the generation which remembered the terrors of the Thirty Years War, and inevitably felt that it was dangerous to become too attached to the things of this world. In general, the poets of the Baroque era sensed everything in this world to be mutable, transient: Die Blasen in Eile verzischen, Die Schlangen in Eile hinwischen, Die Winde mit Eile hinbrausen, Die Schiffe mit Eile wegsausen: Wir Menschen auch also bestehen, In Eile mit Eile vergehen;