“Das mir recht in die Seele strahlte” Aspects of a Pietist Poesie in B. H. Brockes’s Irdisches Vergnügen in Gott

Grant Henley


The nature poetry in B. H. Brockes’s nine-volume Irdisches Vergnügen in Gott is traditionally regarded as either the poetic complement to English physicotheology, ideological experi mentation with the literature of the Hermetica, or the literary expression of early Enlightenment philosophical ideals. This article revisits the influence of Johann Arndt’s Vier Bücher Von wahrem Christenthumb (1610) and Spenerian Pietism on Brockes’s oeuvre focusing on the Pietist notions of interiority, experiential religion, and the importance of spiritual rebirth. Through lyrical perspective, emotive diction, and textual framing around the term Seele Brockes’s nature poems reflect aspects of a Pietist conversion testimonial more in accord with the stated purpose of the work as Christian Erbauungsliteratur. (GH)

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