|"Even the most serious writings, every once in a while, need something cheerful. Here are 8 songs for your magazine. My conditions are:
1) that all 8 be published together
2) and that they be positioned at the beginning of the issue, the next number if possible
3) that they be printed in neat and elegant lettering, not with a prose setting."
— Mid-May 1882: Letter from Friedrich Nietzsche to Ernst Schmeitzner.
These poems from Spring 1882 were written in Sicily, where Nietzsche remained for three weeks (April 1-24) after arriving from Genoa.
In May 1882, Nietzsche's eight idylls were published in "Internationale Monatschrift" (International Monthly Review)an anti-semitic literaro-cultural magazineowned by Ernst Schmeitzner, Nietzsche's publisher at the time, with whom he would later sever all ties and eventually sue. They stem from the same voluminous amount of poetic attempts from February to April 1882, from which Nietzsche later composed his "Vorspiel in deutschen Reimen" (Prelude in German Rhymes) to Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (The Joyful Science) in 1882. From these eight poems, Nietzsche used six (in modified form) for the "Lieder des Prinzen Vogelfrei"the appendix for the second edition of Die fröhliche Wissenschaft in 1887.