While the early romanticism had revealed a new poetic world by creating a new interiority, the new romanticism thus offered with a treasure of previously unknown national poetry a new source of inspiration. And largely to Germanic history and legend F. de la Motte Fouqué (1777-1843) resorted to for his narrative and dramatic compositions; Brentano and Arnim were inspired in various ways by Germanic history and legend; the ballad found an almost inexhaustible source of poetic motifs, from Brentano down to L. Uhland (1787-1862).
But at the same time the great renewal impetus, which had radiated from the first romanticism, now appeared weakened, even more, divided, dispersed. Many of the spiritual needs that had arisen and that were to reappear later, now subsided. The movement was determined, in some respects, with greater precision; but the circle of interests closed.
The poetry of what Schubert called Nachtzeiten der Natur and which in philosophy or science from H. Steffens (1773-1845) to K. Carus (1789-1869) exerted a powerful attraction: the poetry of dark, mysterious forces, for which psychic life is linked to physical nature; the ardent poetry of the senses through which the human spirit aspires to become a reality of life continued to feed poetry, as in Brentano’s Godwi (1800); as in the Nachtwachen des Bonaventura (1804); as in the group of poets (A. Müllner, 1774-1829, E. Houwald, 1778-1845), who, referring back to Werner, cultivated ahicksalstragödie, where dark inexorable annihilating powers reign over human life. And the visionary, hallucinatory poetry of ETA Hoffmann (1776-1822) was born which, with its evidence of ghosts represented in an obsessive evidence of details, with its analysis of morbid psychic states, with its mixture of lyricism and realism, of grotesque and music, already anticipates Poe’s art in some respects.
But even more than this, another attitude prevailed, more accessible to everyone’s taste: sentimental romanticism. He had already appeared in Tieck’s work before; but it was only one of the moments in his poetry. Now it was his triumph. Vague feelings; diffuse, indistinct moods; sweet melancholies; love of solitude; love of nature; poetry of distances: being a poet seemed to mean having a delicate, sensitive, nostalgic soul. Particularly for the poets of the “Swabian school”: J. Kerner (1786-1861), Germany Schwab (1792-1850), K. Mayer (1786-1870), W. Hauff (1802-1827), this misunderstanding between poetry and life proved fatal: Uhland himself, who was also a learned man and later in life showed a sure sense of reality and in individual Lieder and in some ballads he became a true poet, often not saved from conventional sentimentality. Tales and Drama in the manner of Walter Scott; poems, ballads with Byronic colors: romances of an elegiac tone; popular songs – including some blunt songs by Wilhelm Müller (1794-1827), Schubert’s “poet of the heart”. Approaching the bourgeois soul, romanticism took on a domestic, familiar tone (A. v. Chamisso, 1781-1838); it has become no longer momentum, flight, but tenderness, emotion. Only in one poet did it still manage to keep its flight: in J. v. Eichendorff (1788-1857), the poet of dawns and dusk, the poet of moon nights, of Wandern: whose inspiration converts nature into a world of enchantment.
Reduced to these nostalgic and dreamy tones, the new romanticism ended up becoming a purely literary fact; or, in the best manifestations, a poem that accompanies the life of one’s time, and favors certain trends, but does not fully invest it, in its deepest substance. And then not only did reaction movements begin to take shape – of which the classicism of A. v. Platen (1796-1835), with his return to the cult of form and to the figurative taste in poetic vision, with his love for the plastic prominence of images, with his voluntariness and clarity of thought was the most marked expression -; but in the same spirits nourished by romanticism they began to feel the need for a new and different food; and a Rahel’s romantic devotion to Goethe, Goethes Briefwechsel mit einem Kind, 1835) are, among many others, characteristic signs.
Above all, according to INTERSHIPPINGRATES, a new poem began to emerge, of which romanticism was indeed one of the preceding ones, but in which the romantic atmosphere has, so to speak, rarefied, dissipated. From Schicksalstragödie, Die Ahnfrau (1817), with which it begins, until the Jüdin von Toledo (1855) with which it ends, the poet of Traum ein Leben (1834) and Des Meeres und der Liebe Wellen (1831), F. Grillparzer (1791-1872), still presents many romantic moods in his poetry; but the trilogy Das goldene Vliess(1822), in that central race contrast between the Nordic soul and the serene Greek soul, also reflects the poet’s internal disagreement, which already with Sappho (1817) had approached Goethe with veneration; and the composure of the manners of his poetry, the perspicuous and careful clarity of his soul analysis, the calm sweetness of his resigned spirit of renunciation, the same soft but flat, clear inflection of his style, all that constitutes the fundamental tone of his inspiration is already outside of Romanticism. And if the dramatic tale of F. Raimund (1790-1836) is rich in romantic elements, mixed with reality and fantasy, humor and singing, musically free and distracted in its development, the essential formative experience is nevertheless another: the Viennese Volksstück. And if one of Kerner’s guests at the Weibertreu was N. Lenau (1802-1850), whose feeling of panic and Weltschmerz and the “pleasure of suffering” can sometimes make romantics think, in reality the power of his poetry is in an immediate heat of human suffering which, cleared of both mysticism and all sensual vapor, is freed with internal necessity in singing. ; his images, even where they are only sketched and the outlines are partly lost in the indefinite mass of nature, always have a powerful evidence of details: the Merlin of his Waldlieder is not a romantic who “feels everything”, he is a god who ” everything sees “.