The Tension Between The Lovers

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The tenth poem stands out after the depiction of the gradually building tension between the lovers in the previous texts as it once again, like the first and second poem, seems to describe just the scenery. The speaker waits and contemplates a beautiful flower bed, which he portrays in detailed sensual images.
The first verse outlines the situation and conveys the speaker’s calm state of mind. The verb “betracht” implies that he takes a long and close look at the flower bed, which is beautiful (“schön”) to him. The situation is rather intimate as he looks and contemplates for himself (“mir”) while waiting for someone or something. The verb “harren” conveys hope and expectation, but the greedy desire and desperate longing from the previous poems
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Purple-black thorns surround the bed. Their dark colours and the verb “umzäunt” (fenced in) underline that they protect the chalices, velvety ferns, green, round tufts and white bells that grow inside. The erotic symbol of the chalice and the rich and sensual language with seven adjectives that describe the colours, shape and consistency of the flowers hint at the consummation of the lovers’ desire. The most striking compound adjective is perhaps “sammtgefiederte” (velvet-feathered), which refers to both the shape and quality of the material and appears thus almost synaesthetic. The unusual spelling with the double m contributes to the sensuous quality of the poem’s longest word that is used to describe the perhaps tallest plants in the bed. The speaker enthuses over the magnificence of the flower bed. The climactic effect of the anaphora “Und” in the fourth to sixth verse is further enhanced by the description of an even more beautiful plant in each verse until the speaker’s gaze finally reaches the centre with the bell flowers that stand out due to their softness and pure, white
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