Sibylla Schwarz

(1621-1638 / Greifswald)

Biography of Sibylla Schwarz

Sibylla Schwarz poet

Sibylla Schwarz, also known as Sibylle Schwartz was a German poet of the Baroque era.

Sibylla Schwarz was the daughter of Christian Schwarz, mayor of Greifswald, and Regina Schwarz. Her life was relatively untroubled until the Thirty Years' War reached Greifswald in 1627 and her mother suddenly died in 1630. She began to write poetry at the age of seven. Her verse reflects the difficult times in the middle of the Thirty Years' War, of which she saw neither the beginning nor the end. Greifswald was first occupied by Wallenstein and then by the Swedish army under Gustavus Adolphus. Important themes in her work include friendship, love, war and death. In 1638 she suddenly fell ill and died at the age of 17.

Her verse was published posthumously in 1650 by her teacher Samuel Gerlach under the title Deutsche Poëtische Gedichte in two parts containing over 100 poems. She was famous as the "Pomeranian Sappho", but her work fell into oblivion in the 18th century. Literary historians began to pay renewed attention to her in the 19th century as one of the few notable female writers of Baroque literature in German.

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Is Love A Fire?

Is love a fire? Can love melt iron?
Am I like fire and full of the pain of love?
Out of what is the heart of my lover?
If it were made of iron then I could melt it with my fire.

If it were made of gold I could bend it
with my glow, should it made of flesh
so I see: it is a stone made of flesh.
However, a stone cannot betray me like she does.

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