Political Poetry across the Centuries


The volume dedicates itself to the rather neglected field of political poetry and offers a broad perspective across the centuries from Plato until the post-war period. The first part describes the social function of poetry in Plato, his reception in Heidegger and in Ezra Pound’s poetry. A contribution on Milton complements this with a great poet`s reflection on central political questions. The second part, pre 20th century, is rounded off by two rulers from the edges of Europe or Asia who left their mark both on history and on the literary history of their country: the Georgian king Teimuraz I and the Persian ruler Shah Ismail. This theme is continued in the last contribution dedicated to an outstanding combination of political and poetic talent from recent history, Mao Zedong. Two other contributions refer to the epoch of WWI, Europe`s big cultural caesura, and they dedicate themselves to two eminently influential figures, Stefan George and Vladimir Mayakowsky.
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Biographical Note

Hans-Christian Günther is Professor for Classics at the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg/Br. He has published widely on Greek and Latin poetry and philosophy and also on modern philosophy, ethics and politics. He is also the author of many verse translations from various languages.

Table of contents

List of Contributors
Introduction by the Editor
Basic Reflections
1. The Poet as Demiourge in Plato, Dominic O’Meara
2. Dichtung und Politik bei Martin Heidegger, Bogdan Mincă
3. Ethik- Politik- Dichtung. Pounds Patria Mia, Ralf Lüfter
The Seventeenth Century
4. The Greatest King among Poets, the Greatest Poet among Kings: the Poetry of King Teimuraz I, Donald Rayfield
5. Knowledge After the Fall. Milton and the Question of Censorship, Friederike Schmiga
The First World War
6. Stefan George als politischer Dichter, Hans-Christian Günther
7. Patriotism and Pacifism. The Year 1914 for Futurist Vladimir Mayakovskiĭ, Luigi Magarotto
Beyond Europe:
8. Dichtung, Propaganda und Polemik im Konflikt zwischen Schah Isma‘īl und Sultan Selīm, Max Scherberger
9. Maos Gedichte – Versuch einer soziagogischen Analyse, Harro von Senger


Students of literature, culture, politics and philosophy.