Poems Without Frontiers

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Karl Gottfried von Leitner (1800 - 1890)

Leitner was born in Graz to a family whose father was a member of the state council but who died in 1805.

He showed early promise as a student of poetry which he preferred to his later studies in law and history during which period he spent holidays in walking tours of the Steiermark. In 1824 he became a member of the teaching faculty in Cilli and, shortly thereafter, Graz. His first poems were published in 1825 in "Gedichte" which led to his poetic talents being observed by leading scholars of the day and to appointments in the local government administration of which, in 1835, he became assistant secretary and, in 1837, secretary.

He married Karoline Beyer in 1846 but she died in 1854 in Pisa which led to his retirement for reasons of health and his assumption of a rather sequestered life thereafter becoming influenced by Jakob Lorber in theosophical themes, but he was, nonetheless, a frequent guest in a literary circle that included Johann Gabriel Seidl, Franz Grillparzer and many other noted literary members. He was appointed joint curator of the Joanneum museum in 1858.

Some of his early poems were set to music by Franz Schubert.