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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

THE  NEW  VERSE                               547

SCHNACK (1892- ), the brother of Friedrich Schnack, who has
been prolific both in verse and prose. Usinger's Gedicbte (1940) is
made up from selections from his previous work; this was fol-
lowed by Das Glilck (1947) and Hesperische Hjmnen (1948). His
important essays on the literature of today are collected in Das
Wirklicbe (1947) and Geist und Gestalt (1948).

Another poet who combines extreme modernity of theme with
traditional form is FRIEDRICH GEORG JUNGER (1898- ). He makes
great use of the trochaic four-line stanza, familiar to us from
Goethe's West-ostlicher Divan, and of the Klopstockian hexameter.
He has discussed problems of form and syntax in his "Khytbmus und
Spracbe im deutscben Gedicht (1952); he shows that the total effect
aimed at is to cut out the monotonous singsong of the classical
hexameter. What remains (as in free verse not in hexametric form)
is a free blending of dactyls and trochees. Though F. G. Jiinger,
like Rudolf Hagelstange, has found a retreat in idyllic seclusion on
the shores of the Lake of Constance, he is anything but remote
from actual problems and the Zeitgefiihl of today; indeed he is,
like his elder brother Ernst Jiinger, deeply immersed in them. He
deserted the legal profession - he was a judge - for journalism, and
made a splash with his poem Der Mohn, which branded National
Socialism as 'das Jdndiscbe Ued rubmloser Trunkenbeif. This poem,
taken over into his first volume of verse, Gedicbte (1934), was sur-
reptitiously circulated, and to escape from the close watch by the
Gestapo which was the result he settled, in 1957, at Uberlingen in
Switzerland. The verse of his first volume handles the moulds of
Klopstock and Holderlin; in Der Taurus (1937) he shows himself
a master of the narrative elegy, Der Missouri (1940) and Der West-
wind (1946) are flanked by the twin volumes Die Silberdistelklause
(1946) and Weinberghaus (1947), both in four-foot trochees; they
reflect the bucolic peace of his Swiss retreat. Die 'Perlenscbnur (1948)
was followed by Gedicbte (1950), a collection from previous books
of verse. In Iris im Wind (195 2) there is a note of elementary cheer-
fulness. Taking him all in all the outstanding quality of ids verse
is energy; his main motifs are fire, fierceness, violence. With this
goes his withering contempt for the masses. He is indeed an out-
and-out aristocrat, to whom the great enemy today is Demos,
whom he compares with rats: 'Was aucb die Rafte tut^ \ Sie wird
nicbts mebren. \ Und tate sie nocb mebr \ Sie wirdnur <%ebretf\ or with
grubs that gnaw at the root of life and whose aim is to draw