14 June 2005
Figures from Greek myth used in German poetry
Ganymede (Ganymed) – epitome of male youthful beauty, son of the king of Troy, carried off by eagle of Zeus to be cupbearer
Hyperion – titan who fathered Sun, Moon and Dawn
Icarus (Ikarus) – wings made for him by Daedalus but the wax melted as he flew too near the sun and he fell down into the sea
Marsyas - a satyr who played the flute, challenged Apollo to a music contest and lost. Apollo had him flayed.
Morpheus – god of dreams
Narcissus – beautiful youth who fell in wretched love with his own reflection in water
Odysseus / Ulysses – undertook expedition by sea involving many adventure to get home to Ithaca
Orpheus – poet, lyre-player, went to the Underworld to recover Eurydice
Prometheus – titan, champion of humans against hostile gods, bringing fire and the arts
Sirens – women by water who lure men to their death with entrancing song
Sisyphus (Sisyphos) – punished in the Underworld with task of rolling uphill a rock which always rolled down again just before the top
Teiresias – blind seer
Thanatos – Death, a winged youth, twin brother of Hypnos (Sleep)
Zeus / Jupiter – supreme god, almighty
Link to Greek mythology site
Poems using these figures:
Heinz Czechowski's 'Prometheus'
Volker Braun's 'Prometheus'
Günter Kunert's 'Prometheus II'
Wilhelm Bartsch's 'Pilzgericht für Prometheus'
Johannes R. Becher's 'Dädalus und Ikarus'
Peter Gosse's 'Munterung an Dädalus'
Gottfried Benn's 'Ikarus'
Lutz Rathenow's 'Erbe des Ikarus'
Günter Kunert's 'Ikarus 64'
Wolf Biermann's 'Ballade vom preussischen Ikarus'
Lutz Rathenow's 'Bin ich Odysseus'
Johannes R. Becher's 'Odysseus' and 'Ithaka'
Louis Fürnberg's 'Der neue Odysseus'
Erich Arendt's 'Ulysses' weite Fahrt' and 'Odysseus' Heimkehr'
Karl Mickel's 'Odysseus im Ithaka'
Oskar Ansull's 'Sisyphos hat es geschafft'
Heinz Kahlau's 'Lob des Sisyphos'
Hans Brinkmann's 'Sisyphos'
Volker Braun's 'Das Vogtland'
Uwe Kolbe's 'Das ganze Werk, oder Sisyphos soundsoweiter' and 'Sisyphos'
Kurt Drawert's 'Sisyphos'
Lutz Rathenow's 'Sisyphos bleibt zurück' and 'Sisyphos. Wechselnde Einstellungen'
Heiner Müller, 'Herakles 13'
Rilke's Sonette an Orpheus
Günter Kunert's 'Opheus III'
Heiner Müller's 'Fahrt nach Plovdiv'
Johannes Bobrowski's 'Doppelflöte'
Heine's 'Morphine' and 'An die Engel'
See also: 100 words on a poem No.2
Posted by Ruth J. Owen at 14:14