Poetry Analysis: Joseph Von Eichendorff

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Desires
Joseph von Eichendorff is seen as one of the most famous poets of the German romanticism. Eichendorff composed many poems about his desires, the romantic world of joy, the simple intimacy, and the experience of nature as a way to God to create a mental antithesis to his violent affected military life. In this manner, his poem “Moonlight Night”, written in 1837, reflects his desires and his closeness to nature and to God. The speaker of the poem describes his feelings and impressions of a moonlit night presenting nature and its beauty in a very detailed way with the use of illustrative language. The poem consists of three four-line stanzas. The stanzas are written in an alternating end rhyme scheme and it is striking that the first and the third stanza both contain an imperfect rhyme. In addition, there are enjambed line-breaks between the respective first and second line of the first and third stanza. Due to the similarity of the structure of these stanzas, the second stanza seemed to be framed and the poem appears as a circle. The rhythmic meter is iambic with alternate female and masculine cadences. Each stanza features one sentence. Also, the poem radiates deep peace and harmony; it seems relaxing to the reader which is reinforced by repeating of the adjectives “quiet” and “soft”.

The headline “Moonlight Night” and the first stanza give the frame of the story: “It was like Heaven’s glimmer/ had [quietly] kissed the Earth’s skin /that in Her blossom’s shimmer/ She had to dream of Him”, it is night and the speaker seems to dream. The heaven is used as a metaphor which symbolizes God and the earth is an image for the mortal. The heaven and earth - being personified - interact with each other in the form of a kiss. The interaction of the kiss stands for the love that god gives. The “blossom’s shimmer” is understood as the godly shine which can be interpreted as warmth and love which god spreads over the earth. The word “quietly” makes the moment - of...
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