Albrecht Von Haller's 'Die AlpenThe Alps In English'

Decent Essays

In his 1729 poem Die Alpen—The Alps in English—Swiss Albrecht von Haller paints an idealized portrait of mountain life based on his journeys thorough the Swiss Alps while working as a botanist. Haller describes the beauty of the landscapes with flowery, sensual language: “the plum of honied flavor” (Haller, 57), “circling peaks create a rim of gleaming blue” (Haller, 65), and “The ambient air is full of scents and ambergris”(Haller, 69). Haller likens to the mountain communities as a sort of utopian society with his glorifying descriptions and admiring, awestruck tone.Even when describing the dark days of winter and rough, rock strewn dirt, he responds that the hardworking, mountainous people take their challenges in stride and build themselves into stronger people, which leads to what Haller really says with his poem. Hidden between descriptions of nature Haller comments on the tight knit communities living in unity with each other away from vice and greed. Haller builds an image of a wholesome and tight knit mountain community based around shared wisdom, respect for one another, and traditions. He comments on the two main communal relationships—that of the village as a whole and the household community structure. Due to the repetitive nature of life in the mountains—every year consistently cycles between Spring coming with lush fields for the cattle, planting seeds over the Summer, the Fall harvest, and finally Winter a time to rest and spend time with family—the elders

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