Theodor Storm

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Theodor Storm (1886)

Theodor Woldsen Storm (September 14, 1817 in Husum, Germany - July 4, 1888 in Hademarschen, Germany) studied and practiced law in northern Germany. He also wrote a number of stories, poems and novellas. His two most well-known works are the novellas Immensee (1849) [1] ( and Der Schimmelreiter (1888). Other published works include a volume of his poems (1852), the novella Pole Poppenspäler (1874) and the novella Aquis submersus (1877).

House of Theodor Storm in Husum
House of Theodor Storm in Husum


Theodor Storm, like Friedrich Hebbel, is a child of the North Sea Plain, but while in Hebbel's verse there is hardly any direct reference to his native landscape, Storm again and again sings its chaste beauty - and while Hebbel could find a home away from his native heath, Storm clung to it with a jealous love.

He was born in Husum ('die graue Stadt am grauen Meer': 'the grizzly town at the grizzly sea') on the west coast of Schleswig-Holstein of well-to-do parents. While still a student of law, he published a first volume of verse together with the brothers Tycho and Theodor Mommsen.

His favorite poets were Eichendorff and Mörike, and the influence of the former is plainly discernible even in Storm's later verse. Storm left his home in 1851 and did not return until 1864, after Schleswig-Holstein had become German.


Die Stadt The town by the sea
Am grauen Strand, am grauen Meer On the gray beach, on the gray sea
Und seitab liegt die Stadt; Lies a town off to the side;
Der Nebel drückt die Dächer schwer, The fog envelopes the rooftops
Und durch die Stille braust das Meer And the sea breaks the silence
Eintönig um die Stadt. Its steady repetition surrounds the town.
Es rauscht kein Wald, es schlägt im Mai No forest rustles, and no bird sings
Kein Vogel ohn' Unterlaß; In May without interruption;
Die Wandergans mit hartem Schrei The wandering goose with loud cry
Nur fliegt in Herbstesnacht vorbei, Only flies away at the Harvest moon,
Am Strande weht das Gras. On the beach the wind blows the grass.
Doch hängt mein ganzes Herz an dir, Yes, my whole heart belongs to you,
Du graue Stadt am Meer; You gray town by the sea;
Der Jugend Zauber für und für The youthful charm will never die
Ruht lächelnd doch auf dir, auf dir, It rests laughing with you, with you,
Du graue Stadt am Meer. You gray town by the sea.

(Analysis and original text of the poem from A Book of German Lyrics, ed. Friedrich Bruns, which is available in Project Gutenberg at

External links

eo:Theodor STORM nds:Theodor Storm


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