von der Vogelweide
c.1172 - c.1228
Walther von der Vogelweide was the foremost German poet, composer and singer of minnesong of the Middle ages. Though probably of noble descent Walther was poor and became a vagabond poet.
In 1204 he outshone his rivals in the great contest at the Wartburg. He first sided with the Guelphs, but made friends with the victorious Hohenstaufen, Frederick II, who gave him a small estate.
Walther's love poems were personal and sincere, and not merely a play with forms and emotions. In his powerful political poetry he defended the cause of his emperor against the pope.
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