In these inspired feats of matchmaking, Peter von Matt brings poem and reader together in a seductive blend of cunning and cajolery, perspicacity and persuasiveness, desire and delight.
Not only the author of captivating works of literary criticism, Peter von Matt is also a master of miniature interpretive analysis. In his latest book, he engages with 60 poetical works – some new discoveries, some established classics – illuminating words and images with refined prose that takes no longer to read than the individual poems that come under his spotlight. His is an elegant approach – led by either the language, the metre, the historical context, or perhaps a striking metaphor, he subtly directs readers onto paths where they must negotiate, through independent exploration, their own routes to reflect on the beauty of nature, on politics and society, transience and death, or love in its many guises. The journey travelled here represents a distillation of German poetry, ranging from the Middle Ages to the present day, respectful of the classics but also embracing many a new discovery picked up along the way.