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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

342                  MODERN   GERMAN  LITERATURE

ruins. Die Stimme des Heilands brands the horror of war - the
Saviour speaks His pity for all His peoples. Of Gertrud von le
Fort's essayistic work the most widely read is Die ewige Fran (1934);
the interpretation of 'die Frau in der Zeif is doubled by that of
'die ^eitkse Frau\ Die Krone der Frau (1952), consisting of selections
from the author's works, is in the nature of a companion volume.
There are mystical currents philosophically reasoned in Die Opfer-
flamme (1938), which pays tribute to death as a form of love, while
Unser Weg durch die Nacht (1949), addressed to 'meine Schweitzer
Freunde', proclaims her love, quand meme, of Germany.

AGNES MIEGEL (1879- ), who was born in Konigsberg, is essen-
tially a lyric poetess (Gedichte, 1901 - title changed to Fruhe Ge-
dichte, 1939; Balladen und Lieder, 1907; Gedichte und Spiele, 1920;
Gesammelte Gedichte, 192.7, 1931, 1952; Herbstgesang, 1932). Her
verse is traditional in form, but there is a vigorous feminine note
in the themes, and even sexual disclosure, though decent and dis-
creet, and marked with patient suffering or expectation rather than
revolt, in such poems as Mddchenlied, Das let^te Mai, Wie Ischtar,
Ungeborenes L,eben, Schone Agnete; and her ballads are differentiated
from the merely narrative species by a vibrant assertion of femin-
ine psychology (Agnes Bernauerin, Griseldis, Mary Stuart, Abisag von
Sunem, Magdalena, etc.). The plenitude of British ballad themes is
due to early residence in England, though also, perhaps, to the
influence of Fontane. In her Novellen (Geschichten aus Altpreussen,
1926; Gang in die Dammerung, 1934) she keeps to her native pro-
vince of East Prussia, and relates historical episodes with the bias
of the Heimatkunstler. Audhumla (1938) is dedicated to the cows of
East Prussia, and tells their story from the mythical Urkuh of the
Eddas to the flight from the Russians in August 1914.

What Agnes Miegel is to East Prussia LULU VON STRAUSS UND
TORNEY (1873-1956) is to Westphalia. One of the best-known col-
lections of verse in our period is 'Keif steht die Saat (1926), her
collected poems and ballads. Her long ballads (Libussa, Das Gericht
von Calais, Geusenbotschaft, etc.) have great variety both of form
and theme, and are dramatic rather than lyrical; their exultant tone
and sonorous rhythm mark her delight in the vigorous life and
self-assertion of her vividly individualized characters. Her manly
love of adventure and the open life comes out in her tales of
peasant life in the lands around the TNestxiBauernstofy (1901), Judas
(1911; title changed to Der Judashof, 1937) and in her historical