ABSTRACT

In Annette von Droste’s poetry images and symbols are a great enrichment. Sometimes they may enhance visual effect of the poetry in our mind’s eye; at others they pull us up short. In the nature of things there is more symbolism in Das Geistliche Jahr than in the rest of Annette von Droste’s poetry, though a large proportion of it is that common to most religious verse. The opposite of all that Annette understands by ‘Blut’ is symbolized by the Golem of Hebrew legend, a creature fashioned of lumps of clay; thus she designates people lacking heart and soul. Annette von Droste was a convinced homoeopath and accordingly borrowed symbols from homoeopathic lore. On the principle of similia similibus, it teaches that snakebites can be treated by oil in which a scorpion has been preserved. One of most striking passages where ‘cedars’ occur connects them with a symbol used elsewhere by Annette von Droste, that of the mountain-top or glacier.