Mahomet's singing

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Mahomets Gesang is a poem that was written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in 1772/73 and is assigned to the epoch of Sturm und Drang . It tells the path of a river, from its source, across meadows and valleys, to the ocean.

Attempts at interpretation

The flow in “Mahomets Gesang” can be seen as a metaphor for the ideal of Sturm und Drang , the genius . This genius is a person with extraordinary talent, he creates, is close to nature and does not bow to any regulations. This is how the river is described in the poem. In the beginning he is “youthful fresh”, which fits the self-view of “Sturm und Drang” as a youth movement. His leadership ambitions are evident early on and he "pulls [...] his brother sources away with him." Neither the "shadow valley" or the flowers stop him and finally "he gives names to countries, cities become under his feet." he, who started out as small as his brothers, surpassed them all and even changed the world.

According to another interpretation, Mahomet is equated with the prophet Mohammed . The brother sources are seen as Muhammad's followers, of which he initially had only a few, but which in the end were very numerous. In the last stanza of the poem he carries it "to the expectant producer", i.e. God ( Allah ) "roaring with joy to the heart".

Web links

Wikisource: Mahomets Singing  - Sources and Full Texts