World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Paul Fleming (poet)

Paul Fleming
Born (1609-10-05)October 5, 1609
Hartenstein, in Vogtland, Saxony
Died April 1, 1640(1640-04-01) (aged 30)
Nationality German
Other names Paul Flemming
Education Thomasschule zu Leipzig
Alma mater University of Leipzig

Paul Fleming, also spelt Flemming (October 5, 1609 – April 2, 1640), was a German physician and poet.

As well as writing notable verse and hymns, he spent several years accompanying the Duke of Holstein's embassies to Russia and Persia. He also lived for a year at Reval on the coast of Estonia, where he wrote many love-songs.


  • Life 1
  • Works 2
  • Bibliography 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Born at Hartenstein, in Vogtland, Saxony, the son of Abraham Fleming, a well-to-do Lutheran pastor, Fleming received his early education from his father before attending a school at Mittweida and then the famous Thomasschule at Leipzig. He received his initial medical training at the University of Leipzig, where he also studied literature and graduated as a Doctor of Philosophy before gaining his medical doctorate at the University of Hamburg.[1][2]

The [5] Not long after his arrival in Reval, Fleming began his courtship of Elsabe Niehus, the daughter of Heinrich Niehus, a merchant originally from Hamburg.[6] He wrote love poems for her, and they became engaged to be married. In 1636 the embassy proceeded to Persia, by way of a further visit to Moscow, and Elsabe was left behind.[7] Fleming's Epistolae ex Persia were four letters in verse written during his time in Persia, between 1636 and 1638.[8] The embassy was at Isfahan in 1637. On returning to Reval, Fleming found that Elsabe had married another man and became engaged to her sister, Anna Niehus.[7][9]

Statue of Fleming at Hartenstein

In 1639 Fleming resumed his medical studies at the University of Leiden, and in 1640 was awarded a doctorate.[7] He settled in Hamburg, but he died on 2 April 1640. As a lyricist he stands in the front rank of German poets.[1]

With his contemporaries Martin Opitz (1597–1639), Andreas Gryphius (1616–1664), Christian Hoffmann von Hoffmannswaldau (1616–1679) and the rather later Daniel Casper von Lohenstein (1635–1683), Fleming is one of the writers now called "the Silesian poets" or "the Silesian school".[10]

Fleming's well-known poems include Auf den Tod eines Kindes (On the Death of a Child) and Madrigal.[11] A number of his sonnets are about the places he visited in his travels.[5] The only collections published in his lifetime were Rubella seu Suaviorum Liber (1631) and Klagegedichte über das unschuldigste Leiden und Tod unsers Erlösers Jesu Christi (Laments concerning the most innocent Suffering and Death of our Saviour Jesus Christ), printed early in 1632, the second of which begins with an invocation of Melpomene, the Muse of tragedy.[12] His Teutsche Poemata (Poems in German), published posthumously in 1642, was later renamed Geistliche und weltliche Gedichte (Spiritual and Secular Poems) and contains many notable love-songs.

Fleming wrote in Latin as well as in German, and his Latin poems were published in a single volume in 1863, edited by Johann Martin Lappenberg.[13]

Fleming wrote the hymn in nine stanzas "In allen meinen Taten" (In all that I do) on the melody of "O Welt, ich muss dich lassen" by Heinrich Isaac,[14] which is contained in several hymnals.[15] Johann Sebastian Bach used the final stanza to close both cantatas Meine Seufzer, meine Tränen (BWV 13) and Sie werden euch in den Bann tun (BWV 44). The complete hymn is the base for Bach's chorale cantata In allen meinen Taten (BWV 97).[15][16] Already in the 17th century another composer, David Pohle (1624–1695), had set twelve of Fleming's love-songs to music.[17]

Fleming has been called a man of "real poetic genius",[18] "the only good poet in Germany during the Thirty Years' War",[19] "possibly the greatest German lyric poet of the seventeenth century"[16] and "the German Herrick".[10] Günter Grass has called him "one of the major figures in German seventeenth-century literature".[20]


  • Rubella seu Suaviorum Liber (1631)
  • Klagegedichte über das unschüldigste Leiden undt Tod unsers Erlösers Jesu Christi (Laments concerning the most innocent Suffering and Death of our Saviour Jesus Christ) (1632)
  • Prodromus (1641)
  • Teutsche Poemata (Poems in German) (1646)
    • Geistliche und weltliche Gedichte (Spiritual and Secular Poems) was the title of later editions of Teutsche Poemata


  • Harry Mayne, Paul Fleming (1609–1640) (1909)
  • Herbert William Smith, The forms of praise in the German poetry of Paul Fleming (1609–1640) (1956)
  • Siegfried Scheer, Paul Fleming 1609 – 1640: seine literar-historischen Nachwirkungen in drei Jahrhunderten (1941)
  • Marian R. Sperberg-McQueen, The German poetry of Paul Fleming: studies in genre and history (1990)
  • Karen Brand, Diversität der deutschen Liebeslyrik von Paul Fleming (2010)
  • Gerhard Dünnhaupt: 'Paul Fleming', in Personalbibliographien zu den Drucken des Barock, vol. 2 (Stuttgart: Hiersemann, 1990; ISBN 3-7772-9027-0), pp. 1490–1513
  • Eva Dürrenfeld, Paul Fleming und Johann Christian Günther (Tübingen: Winter, 1964)
  • Heinz Entner, Paul Fleming – Ein deutscher Dichter im Dreißigjährigen Krieg (Leipzig: Verlag Philipp Reclam jun., 1989; ISBN 3-379-00486-3)
  • Maria Cäcilie Pohl, Paul Fleming. Ich-Darstellung, Übersetzungen, Reisegedichte (Münster & Hamburg, 1993)
  • Hans Pyritz, Paul Flemings Liebeslyrik (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1962)
  • Konrad Müller, Paul Fleming und das Haus Schönburg (Waldenburg, Saxony: 1939)
  • Willi Flemming (1961), "Flem(m)ing, Paul",  


  1. ^ a b John Wesley Thomas, German verse from the 12th to the 20th century in English translation (AMS Press, 1966), p. 25
  2. ^ a b Friedrich Max Müller, Early German classics from the fourth to fifteenth century, vol. 2 (1858), p. 490: Geboren 1609 zu Hartenstein im Voigtlande; besuchte die Schule zu Meissen, und studirte Medicin in Leipzig. Der Dreissigjährige Krieg trieb ihn nach Holstein, wo er sich der Gesandtschaft anschloss...
  3. ^ Gabriella Szögedi, 'constantiaVersuch eines autonomen Verhaltens im Poetischen. Paul Flemings deutsche Liebesgedichte im Diskurs der at, accessed 10 January 2012: "Fleming... spent six years of his short life on a diplomatic mission from Holstein to Russia and Persia" (translated from the German)
  4. ^ Sperberg-McQueen (1990) p. 81
  5. ^ a b Elena Rannu, The living past of Tallinn (1993), p. 106: "It happened that the German poet Paul Fleming (1609–1640), a doctor by profession, was one of that Holstein Embassy too. Like his comrades, he spent about a year in the town... He organized a poetry group which was called "Shepherds"... Some of Paul Fleming's sonnets were connected directly with Tallinn, others with the places along which the embassy travelled..."
  6. ^ Karen Brand, Diversität der deutschen Liebeslyrik von Paul Fleming (2010), p. 4: "Vermutlich im März 1635 begann die Liebesbeziehung zu Elsabe Niehus..."
  7. ^ a b c Hans Dieter Betz, Religion past and present (2008), p. 140
  8. ^ Marian R. Sperberg-McQueen, The German poetry of Paul Fleming: studies in genre and history (1990), p. 133
  9. ^ Baker, Christopher (2002). Absolutism and the scientific revolution, 1600–1720: a biographical dictionary. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 117.  
  10. ^ a b Ebenezer Cobham Brewer, The political, social, and literary history of Germany (1881), p. 242: "Paul Fleming of Silesia (1609–1640), the "German Herrick," stands; the head of all the lyric poets of the seventeenth century."
  11. ^ A German treasury (University of Salzburg, 1995), pp. 90–91
  12. ^ Sperberg-McQueen (1990) p. 46
  13. ^ J. M. Lappenberg, ed., Paul Flemings Lateinische Gedichte (Stuttgart, 1863)
  14. ^ "Chorale Melodies used in Bach's Vocal Works / O Welt, ich muss dich lassen". 2009. Retrieved 9 January 2012. 
  15. ^ a b "In allen meinen Taten / Text and Translation of Chorale". 2006. Retrieved 9 January 2012. 
  16. ^ a b Richard Stokes, ed., J. S. Bach: the Complete Cantatas, p. viii
  17. ^ Friedrich Blume, Ludwig Finscher, Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart: allgemeine Enzyklopädie der Musik (1996), p. 304: "David Pohle, 12 Liebesgesänge von Paul Fleming für 2 St."
  18. ^ M. F. Reid, A handy manual of German literature (1879), p. 80
  19. ^ Edward Lowbury, Poetry (Oxford Reference Online accessed 10 January 2012, subscription required), orig. in Stephen Lock, John M. Last, and George Dunea, eds., The Oxford Companion to Medicine (Oxford University Press, 2001)
  20. ^ Günter Grass, The meeting at Telgte (1990), p. 139

External links

  • Paul Fleming (Hymn-Writer) at
  • Paul Fleming (1609–1640) – Liebesgedichte Love poems and biography at
  • Paul Fleming (1609–1640) – Liebesgedichte II Love poems II at
  • Paul Fleming (1609–1640) – Liebesgedichte III Love poems III at
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.