Other literary forms

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Theodor Storm made his most significant contribution to German literature in his more than fifty novellas, but he is also recognized as one of the foremost German poets of the second half of the nineteenth century. Liederbuch dreier Freunde (1843; songbook of three friends), which he published with Theodor Mommsen and Tycho Mommsen, contains more than forty of his early poems, among them the best of the love lyrics that he dedicated to Bertha von Buchan. Additional poetry accompanied the novellas in Sommer-Geschichten und Lieder. His first substantial collection, Gedichte (1852; poems), appeared in repeatedly expanded editions in 1856, 1864, and 1885. Storm’s poetry is characterized by simplicity, melodic rhythms, and beauty of form. Important themes are love, nature, and homeland.

In addition to his creative works, Storm wrote a few essays on literature, some of which appeared as introductions to editions of his own writings and anthologies of poems by earlier authors. Also of special interest for his development as a writer are the letters that he exchanged with Gottfried Keller, Theodor Fontane, Paul Heyse, and other contemporaries. The bulk of his correspondence has been collected and edited.