In addition to writing sixty-one tragedies, sixty-five comedies, and eighty-one Fastnachtspiele (carnival plays), Hans Sachs was a popular poet. He was undoubtedly the most notable German poet during the first half of the sixteenth century. His literary production was enormous; Adalbert Keller, his principal bibliographer, indicates the number of his pieces of verse to be more than 4,275, with more than fifty thousand lines. Hans Sachs also wrote Erzählungen (tales), Schwänke (farces or amusing stories), and Fabeln (fables) in addition to his Lieder (songs) and Gedichte (poems).
That Sachs was touched by the stirring events of his age is seen in the fact that he wrote several impassioned poems on the brutality and menace of the Turks. For a time, his relationship with the Lutheran Reformation was an active participation. In 1523, he published his famous Die wittenbergisch Nachtigall (nightingale of Wittemberg), in which he lauded Martin Luther and criticized the corruption of the Roman Catholic Church. Later, he published a group of Reformation prose dialogues (his only works written in prose), including the well-known Disputation zwischen einem Chorherren und einem Schuchmacher (1524; dispute between a choirmaster and a shoemaker).