The Poets and Poetry of Europe.

With Introductions and Biographical Notices.
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

Preface.

 

Text
Editionsbericht
Literatur

 

"THE art of poetry," says the old Spanish Jew, Alfonso de Baena, "the gay science, is a most subtle and most delightful sort of writing or composition. It is sweet and pleasurable to those who propound and to those who reply; to utterers and to hearers. This science, or the wisdom or knowledge dependent on it, can only be possessed, received, and acquired by the inspired spirit of the Lord God; who communicates it, sends it, and influences by it, those alone, who well and wisely, and discreetly and correctly, can create and arrange, and compose and polish, and scan and measure feet, and pauses, and rhymes, and syllables, and accents, by dextrous art, by varied and by novel arrangement of words. And even then, so sublime is the understanding of this art, and so diffficult its attainment, that it can only be learned, possessed, reached, and known to the man who is of noble and of ready invention, elevated and pure discretion, sound and steady judgment; who has seen, and heard, and read many and divers books and writings; who understands all languages; who has, moreover, dwelt in the courts of kings and nobles; and who has witnessed and practised many heroic feats. Finally, he must be of high birth, courteous, calm, chivalric, gracious; he must be polite and graceful; he must possess honey, and sugar, and salt, and facility and gayety in his discourse."

Tried by this standard, many of the poets in this volume would occupy a smaller space than has been allotted to them; and others would have been rejected altogether, as being neither "of ready invention, elevated and pure discretion, nor sound and steady judgment." But it has not been my purpose to illustrate any poetic definition, or establish any theory of art. I have attempted only to bring together, into a compact and convenient form, as large an amount as possible of those English translations which are scattered through many volumes, and are not easily accessible to the general reader. In doing this, it has been thought advisable to treat the subject historically, rather than critically. The materials have in consequence been arranged according to their dates; and in order to render the literary history of the various countries as complete as these materials and the limits of a single volume would allow, an author of no great note has sometimes been admitted, or a poem which a severer taste would have excluded. The work is to be regarded as a collection, rather than as a selection; and in judging author, it must be borne in mind that translations do not always preserve the [VI] rhythm and melody of the original, but often resemble soldiers moving onward when the music has ceased and the time is marked only by the tap of the drum.

The languages from which translations are here presented are ten. They are the six Gothic languages of the North of Europe, – Anglo-Saxon, Icelandic, Danish, Swedish, German, and Dutch; and the four Latin languages of the South of Europe, – French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese. In order to make the work fulfil entirely the promise of its title, the Celtic and Sclavonic, as likewise the Turkish and Romaic, should have been introduced; but with these I am not acquainted, and I therefore leave them to some other hand, hoping that ere long a volume may be added to this which shall embrace all the remaining European tongues.

The authors upon whom I have chiefly relied, and to whom I am indebted for the greatest number of translations, are BOWRING, HERBERT, COSTELLO, TAYLOR, JAMIESON, BROOKS, ADAMSON, and THORPE. * Some of these are already beyond the reach of praise or thanks. To the rest, and to all the translators by whose labors I have profited, I wish to express my sincere acknowledgments. I need not repeat their names; they will, for the most part, be found in the Table of Contents, and in the list entitled "Translators and Sources."

In the preparation of this work I have been assisted by Mr. C. C. FELTON, who has furnished me with a large portion of the biographical sketches prefixed to the translations. I have also received much valuable aid from the critical taste and judgment of Mr. GEORGE NICHOLS, during the progress of the work through the press.

 

    CAMBRIDGE, May, 1845.

 

 

[Fußnote, S. VI]

    * Since the Anglo-Saxon portion of this book was printed, a copy of the "Codex Exoniensis," spoken of on pages 6, 7, as "the Exeter Manuscript," has been received. The work has been published by Mr. Thorpe, with the following title: "CODEX EXONIENSIS; a Collection of Anglo-Saxon Poetry, from a Manuscript in the Library of the Dean and Chapter of Exeter, with an English Translation and Notes, by BENJAMIN THORPE, F. S. A." London. 1842. 8vo.
    The following translations may also be mentioned: "MASTER WACE HIS CHRONICLE OF THE NORMAN CONQUEST, from the ROMAN DU ROU," by EDGAR TAYLOR, London, 8vo.; and "REYNARD THE FOX, a renowned Apologue of the Middle Age, reproduced in Rhyme," by S. NAYLOR, London, 1845, 8vo.   zurück

 

 

 

 

Erstdruck und Druckvorlage

The Poets and Poetry of Europe.
With Introductions and Biographical Notices.
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Philadelphia: Carey and Hart 1845, S. V-VI.

URL: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/001692412
URL: https://archive.org/details/poetsandpoetrye00feltgoog

Die Textwiedergabe erfolgt nach dem ersten Druck (Editionsrichtlinien).

 

 

 

Literatur

Anderson, Jill: "Be Up and Doing": Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Poetic Labor. In: Journal of American Studies 37.1 (2003), S. 1-15.
URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/27557251

Brandmeyer, Rudolf: Poetiken der Lyrik: Von der Normpoetik zur Autorenpoetik. In: Handbuch Lyrik. Theorie, Analyse, Geschichte. Hrsg. von Dieter Lamping. 2. Aufl. Stuttgart 2016, S. 2-15.

Cameron, Kenneth W.: Longfellow among his Contemporaries. A Harvest of Estimates, Insights, and Anecdotes from the Victorian Literary World. Hartford, Conn. 1978.

Cohen, Michael C.: The Social Lives of Poems in Nineteenth-Century America. Philadelphia, PA 2015.

Frank, Armin P. / Maas, Christel-Maria: Transnational Longfellow. A Project of American National Poetry. Frankfurt a.M. 2005.

Genette, Gérard: Paratexte. Das Buch vom Beiwerk des Buches. Frankfurt a.M. 2001 (= suhrkamp taschenbuch wissenschaft, 1510)

Gioia, Dana: Longfellow and the Aftermath of Modernism. In: The Columbia History of American Poetry. Hrsg. von Jay Parini. New York u.a. 1993, S. 64-96.

Golding, Alan C.: A History of American Poetry Anthologies. In: Robert von Hallberg (Hrsg.): Canons. Chicago 1984, S. 279-307.

Irmscher, Christoph: Longfellow Redux. Urbana 2008.

Jackson, Virginia: Longfellow in His Time. In: The Cambridge History of American Poetry. Hrsg. von Alfred Bendixen u.a. Cambridge 2015, S. 238-258.

Kilcup, Karen L.: Who Killed American Poetry? From National Obsession to Elite Possession. Ann Arbor 2019.

Lethbridge, Stefanie: Lyrik in Gebrauch. Gedichtanthologien in der englischen Druckkultur 1557 – 2007. Heidelberg 2014 (= Anglistische Forschungen, 442).

McGettigan, Katie: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and the Transatlantic Materials of American Literature. In: American Literature. A Journal of Literary History, Criticism, and Bibliography 89 (2017), S. 727-759.

Sarkhosh, Keyvan / Syrovy, Daniel: Anthologien. In: Handbuch Komparatistik. Theorien, Arbeitsfelder, Wissenspraxis. Hrsg. von Rüdiger Zymner u. Achim Hölter. Stuttgart u. Weimar 2013, S. 337-340.

Stokes, Claudia: Old Style. Unoriginality and Its Uses in Nineteenth-Century U.S. Literature. Philadelphia 2022.

 

 

Edition
Lyriktheorie » R. Brandmeyer