Eichendorff, Joseph, Freiherr von

Eichendorff, Joseph, Freiherr von yōˈzĕf frīˈhĕr fən īˈkhəndôrf [key], 1788–1857, German poet, a leader of the late romantics. He studied law, volunteered in Lützow's corps in the Napoleonic Wars, and, as a civil servant in Berlin, associated with Schlegel, Arnim, Brentano, and other romantic poets. Eichendorff's lyric verse, in folk-song style, is notable for its highly personal expression of love of home and worship of nature. Much of it was set to music by Schumann, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Wolf, and many others. His prose is lyrical as well; Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts (1826, tr. Memoirs of a Good-for-Nothing, 1866) is filled with his romantic yearnings and poetic dreams. There are many translations of his poems, among them The Happy Wanderer and Other Poems (1925).

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