In 1821 Goethe put together twenty-one poems overtly concerned with scientific themes in a collection entitled Gott und Welt for his Ausgabe letzter Hand. He followed a practice of editing his poetry that can be traced back to 1767 and the collection Annette, in which he arranged a few poems for his friend Behrisch. One of the earlier cornerstones in this development is the collection Vermischte Gedichte of 1789 in which Goethe compiled poems that had previously been published in various journals or not at all. The poems were written as independent literary pieces on different occasions and at the time of writing Goethe had no intention of putting them together to form a larger group. Goethe’s undertaking proved to be extremely successful and still receives much praise for its skillfully structured overall poetic composition. 1 From now on Goethe stuck to this particular way of publishing poems, yet the wide range of new material that he had to include over the course of time required him to reconsider frequently the arrangements of the various collections. During the fifty-four years that lie between the collection Annette and Gott und Welt, what had started for a private purpose gradually became Goethe’s particular way of presenting his poetry to the public reader. If the Vermischte Gedichte had a strong autobiographical alignment, in the poetry volume of the Neue Schriften (1800) Goethe departed from this arrangement in favour of a seemingly more objective structure in which he arranged his poetry according to genres. This structure then became the basis of the two subsequent editions with Johann Friedrich Cotta, Goethe’s publisher in the second part of his life. While in the Werke (1806) Goethe was able to integrate new poems into already existing rubrics as well as to re-create the collection Vermischte Gedichte, for the second Cotta edition in 1815 the number of recently written poems was too large for them to be added to the already existing collections. New collections had to be created, and for the first time Goethe’s poetry extended over two volumes. In 1827 these two volumes became part of the Ausgabe letzter Hand (1827), and although Goethe decided to dedicate one volume exclusively to the West-östlicher Divan there was still enough material to create new collections that filled a fourth volume of poetry.