Who runs America poem
America, the land of dreams,
You wonder world so long and wide,
How beautiful are your coconut trees
And your active solitude!
With your blue and red birds
With your proud army of flowers,
With your thousand ships and sails
Of those full of your wide sea.
With your emerald green leaves
With your fragrant cool night
Too close to you on the ship's boards,
I thought of that as a child!
Despite your splendidly colored snakes,
Despite your hot sunshine,
If my ardent desire is for you,
That rests mightily now and never! -
"America" tells in four stanzas, each with four verses, of the attraction of the United States and the associated dream of freedom and happiness.
Each stanza forms a sentence that ends with a punctuation mark; a consistent cross rhyme leads through the poem.
The first two stanzas paint a picture of this magical land, which resembles a “wonder world”. Here, no destination seems unattainable and no path blocked. The possibilities of the individual appear as “long and broad” as the extent of this country. It is a country that is always on the move, that never comes to rest. Apparently nobody is alone in this hustle and bustle, and yet, in the hectic pace and anonymity, the individual can be lonely.
The second stanza is characterized by the numerous motifs from nature. Birds in the national colors of red and blue and the wide sea underline the freedom that America promises. America is a country of immigration, at whose ports “a thousand ships and sails” arrive every day. In addition to the vastness, it is also the beauty of the states that is expressed in the metaphor “army of flowers” and that attracts and fascinates many people.
In the second half of the poem, the personal connection between the lyric self and the land of unlimited possibilities comes to the fore. The special relationship to America is also expressed in the consistent form of address "You", which is often associated with the anaphor "With". The longing to travel the country arose as a child. It is an "ardent desire that rests mightily now and never" and does not allow itself to be diminished by the hustle and bustle, the anonymity and the "hot sunshine" in summer.
Numerous adjectives (blue, red, green, colorful, long, broad, lively, proud, beautiful, etc.) create a colorful picture of the country that the reader is longing for.
Since the first European colony was founded in what was later to become the United States in the 17th century, Germans have emigrated to the United States. The Germans formed the largest group of immigrants into the 20th century. The majority came at the time of the German Revolution in 1848/49 and the First World War (1914-18). The peak was reached in 1882, when around 250,000 Germans came in that year.
Friederike Kempner (Image source: Wikipedia)
Friederike Kempner was born on June 25, 1828 into a wealthy Jewish family in Opatów. She grows up with four siblings on the Rittersgut in Droschkau, Silesia. The mother teaches her children herself. She brings Friederike closer to the French language as well as literature and the Jewish Enlightenment.
The relationship between mother and daughter is intimate and so the death of both parents in 1868 was a traumatic experience for the German poet. Her grief finds expression in numerous poems that Friederike Kempner wrote after the death of her parents. Her work “Poems” was published for the first time in 1873. The writer Paul Lindau ironically reviewed the poems in his weekly “Die Gegenwart” and presented them to a broad readership. Characteristic for Friederike Kempner is the involuntary comedy, which brings her the name "Silesian nightingale" and which leads to numerous parodies. The legend that the family bought the new edition of the "poems" themselves in order to avoid further ridicule cannot be substantiated. In addition to the lyrical texts, Kempner also writes novellas, dramas and polemics. The latter combines her literary work with her social commitment. She is committed to poor relief and nursing.
Like many people of her time, Friederike Kempner was very afraid of being buried alive and therefore campaigns successfully for the construction of morgues and the extension of the waiting period (between death and burial). In 1871 she was awarded the “Commemorative Coin for Obligation in War”. Little is known about love affairs; Friederike Kempner remains unmarried. Her social commitment and literature shape her life and so it says on her gravestone after she died on February 23, 1904, “Her life was dedicated to intellectual work and works of charity”.
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