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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

68                     MODERN   GERMAN   LITERATURE

sensed, for instance, from Voglein Schwermut (in Em Sommer,, \ 899):

Em schwar^es Voglein fliegt uber die Welt,
das singt so todestraurig . . .
Wer es bort, der hort nichts anderes mehr,
wer es hort., der tut sick em Leides an,
der mag kerne Sonne mehr schauen.

Allmitternacht, Allmitternacht
ruht es sich aus auf dem Finger des Tods.
Der streichelfs his und spricht ihm %u:
'Flieg, mein Vogelein! Flieg, mein Vogelein T
Und wieder fliegf s flotend fiber die Welt.

How skilfully Morgenstern weaves mood into rhythm is suffi-
ciently clear from this little lyric alone: he produces an impression
of deep night by slow pace and heavy vowels at the sentence end,
with the dull flitting of the bird suggested by longer lines with
lighter vowels and three cunningly allocated dactyls; and there is
an impression of listless despair in the absence of rhyme. Morgen-
stern died of consumption, as his mother had done, at the age of
forty-three. In his last years he had turned mystic and immersed
himself in Rudolf Steiner's anthroposophism,-which teaches that
transcendental, spiritual vision reveals the indestructible kernel of
our being. His nominological scepticism culminates in the pan-
theism of his later volumes (Einkehr, 1910; Ich und Du, 1911; Wir
fanden einen Pfad, 1914): cWeder "ich" bin noch jener "Baum" ist,
sondern ein Drittes, nur unsere Vermahlung ist.' Break up
things, and the rest is silence - which is God. The world is the
marriage in God of T and 'thou'. His ripest wisdom is gathered
into the aphorisms and notes of his posthumous Stufen (1918) and
'ELpigramme und Spriiche (i 920), while Mensch Wanderer (1927) gathers
his serious poems from 1887 to 1914. There is a final gleaning of
his grotesques in Die Schallmuhle (1928) - the title was changed to
Bohmischer Jahrmarkt ^1938 and to Egon und Emilie in 19 5 o - with
parodies of Whitman, d'Annunzio and others.

PAUL SCHEERBART (1863-1915) is classed as a 'Phantasf; that is,
more or less an apocalyptic visionary, but of the scientific variety.
We might call him a cosmic humorist, for his novels - half scien-
tific, half mystical - play about grotesquely with the cosmos: like
Shelley (to quote Francis Thompson) he runs wild over the fields