Prooemion is the title of a poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe that was written in March 1816 and published in 1817 as the introduction to his series on natural science in general . In the last edition in 1827, it introduced the group God and World , which contains poems with predominantly religious and scientific themes.
With the solemn echo of the Trinitarian formula, it is part of his ideological poetry , in which he used certain points of view in a concise and instructive way and used symbolic motifs that can be found in many old works.
In the name of the one who created himself!
From eternity in a creative profession;
In His name that creates faith,
trust, love, activity and strength;
In that name, which, so often called, has
always remained unknown in essence:
As far as the ear, as far as the eye can see,
you will only find something familiar that resembles it,
And your spirit's highest fiery flight
Has enough in the parable, has enough in the picture;
It attracts you, it carries you away cheerfully,
And where you walk, the way and the place are adorned;
You don't count anymore, you don't calculate time,
And every step is immensity.
Background and special features
In Goethe's ideological age poems, all earthly phenomena appear as signs of a higher reality that can only be hinted at and not fully recognized. The “sun-like” eye only sees the color , but not the primordial light itself.
He indicates this property with the designation “parable” or “reflection” for things that refer beyond themselves to another sphere. Faust , who has just awakened, looks into the sun and has to turn away, blinded, but recognizes the waterfall glistening in the sunlight - “We have life in the colored reflection.” The term found in the second stanza is also found in the famous words “Everything transient is just a parable ”at the end of the second part of his Faust tragedy .
Goethe transforms the Trinitarian formula (“In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”) into a religious phrase of its own. "In the name of him who creates himself" also indicates the details that are unfolded in the second stanza, according to which the divine is only constantly varied in the visible world.
Hermann Kurzke emphasizes that Goethe renounced the word "God", which is misused in many works. The poet, who is discreet in matters of religion, hypocrites “no familiarity with the Most High”, in that he “always remains unknown”. Eckermann had spoken disparagingly to Goethe of those who were constantly talking about God and who would thus prove that they were not permeated by his greatness. Whoever has recognized the highest being is silent and does not want to name it out of veneration.
With its solemn pathos, however, the work is by no means reserved for Kurzke, since Goethe dares to speak of a quasi-religious justification in the name of the stranger whom he thinks he is commissioner.
In the transitory world of the visible, the eternal and the invisible must be sought. The “highest flight of fire” of the spirit cannot find God himself, but always only his images in the already known world. Despite these sobering insights, Kurzke finds some consolation: the limited ability of researching people to recognize the highest for oneself does not have to depress them, but can have an activating and exhilarating effect, since the images and similes are "enough", drive the researcher and make him "cheerful tear away ”. Man is not destined to see the merciless light of the absolute, but only its colored reflections in reality.
- Karl Otto Conrady: Goethe, life and work , God and nature. Weltschauiche Gedichte, Patmos, Düsseldorf 2006, ISBN 3-491-69136-2 , pp. 909-910
- Siegmund von Hausegger , Nature Symphony , in four movements, with final chorus on Goethe's Prooemion (1911)
- Julius Röntgen , Symphony no. 20, With final chorus on Goethe's Pröoemion (1931)
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Prooemion . In: Goethe's works, poems and epics I, Hamburg edition, Volume I, CH Beck, Munich 1998, p. 357
- Erich Trunz . In: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Goethe's works, notes, Hamburg edition, Volume I, CH Beck, Munich 1998, p. 715
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust. The tragedy part two . In: Goethe's works, dramatic seals I, Hamburg edition, volume III, CH Beck, Munich 1998, p. 149
- Erich Trunz. In: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Goethe's works, notes, Hamburg edition, Volume I, CH Beck, Munich 1998, p. 715
- Karl Otto Conrady : Goethe, life and work , God and nature. Philosophical poems, Patmos, Düsseldorf 2006, p. 909
- Karl Otto Conrady: Goethe, life and work , God and nature. Philosophical poems, Patmos, Düsseldorf 2006, p. 910
- Hermann Kurzke , lucky researchers . In: Marcel Reich-Ranicki (ed.), 1000 German poems and their interpretations, second volume, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Insel-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main / Leipzig 1995, p. 388
- Hermann Kurzke, lucky researchers . In: Marcel Reich-Ranicki (ed.), 1000 German poems and their interpretations, second volume, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Insel-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main / Leipzig 1995, p. 389