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Explore the Craft of Writing

German / Austrian Poetry

The Dinggedicht or Object Poem is a things poem.This is a genre of poetry in which communication of mood or thought is made through acute observation of things and symbolic concentration. It was introduced in the early 1900s by Austrian poet, Rainer Maria Rilke while studying impressionist paintings. It is closely connected to the imagist movement of the same time. It appears the difference may be in the subject of the observation. The dinggedicht appears to be more likely to observe man-made articles while the imagist tends to observe more natural surroundings.

The Dinggedicht is:

  1. framed at the discretion of the poet.
  2. formed by acute observations of concrete images in the world around, expressing symbolically an event, social condition, mood or idea.

    Paradise Adrift by Judi Van Gorder 1-3-05

    water gently laps
    at the edge
    of the shore
    where a soggy
    passport lies open

    face down
    next to broken palms
    and a tilted, scarred
    kitchen chair,
    one spindly leg buried deep

    in the foam-covered sand

    The Indian Ocean tsunami of Dec. 26, 2004, affected 11 countries and killed nearly 230,000 people, making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history

German and Austrian Poetic Forms:

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