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30 review for Poetry and Prose

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jan-Maat

    Heine played an important role in my education. At the time when I bought a copy of this old Everyman's volume 911 second-hand, (conveniently pocket sized, the paper thin, the cloth binding olive green) I was still going to a school of the type that, with typical affection, is called by politicians 'bog standard'. A curious phrase, since at school the bogs woz wot we called the toilets. It suggests a kind of socialisation through flushing, with children flushed through a system into low paid Heine played an important role in my education. At the time when I bought a copy of this old Everyman's volume 911 second-hand, (conveniently pocket sized, the paper thin, the cloth binding olive green) I was still going to a school of the type that, with typical affection, is called by politicians 'bog standard'. A curious phrase, since at school the bogs woz wot we called the toilets. It suggests a kind of socialisation through flushing, with children flushed through a system into low paid work. The highlights of my schooling included bizarrely outdated looking films of scrawny people playing basketball in foreign countries - such was the geography lesson, compulsory sports - which as a person, who with good reason, was picked last for any team was something I naturally found hugely enjoyable, and rural science in which the teacher showed us what happened when he threw a board out the window to cover a patch of grass and which provided us with the opportunity to teach ourselves wheelbarrow racing. This at last was a sport I could get behind. Then I discovered Heine. It was at that time in my life when I had become an intrepid explorer of a second-hand bookshop, clambering round shelves, feeling for light switches in forgotten corners, grimly wondering what was kept in the basement and parting with my pocket money to carry off precious books. I'm not actually sure what became of this one, maybe it still lurks somewhere on a shelf or in a box biding its time until the next reader comes. Waiting to introduce them to Heine who sat on a fence, one foot in irony and the other in Romanticism. That was the best part of my education. He showed in The Book of LeGrand and his memory of reading Don Quixote how childish experience can be reinterpreted with age - how we can never cross the same river twice, not just because the river changes but because we do too. How life is tragic and comic as in From the Memoirs of Herr Schnabelewopski when an indescribable appalling dinner at a boarding house is taken as absolute proof of the non-existence of God and the honour of God has to be defended by a knight of pure faith from among the diners, a man who promptly catches a bullet yet dies with belief in his eyes despite the food in his stomach. That as Atta Troll shows even the repetition of history as comedy can still have a pathos all of its own. The translator did their best to educate me too demonstrating the fine old virtue of humility by throwing up their hands and refusing to translate all the poetry, just providing a bare prose summary in small print instead. Look the translator implied some things you just have to do for yourself, like learning languages, because translating this is beyond me. One day after school a priest visited the Heine household and spoke to his mother saying that young Harry could make a great priest himself if she'd consent to send him to the seminary. Heinrich enjoyed a complete vision of his future life: swanning about in Rome, wearing fancy robes, maintaining a mistress or three, for as long as it took Mrs Heine to explain that since the family was Jewish she didn't think that this was an entirely practical proposition. Later as it happened Harry converted to Protestantism for the sound theological reason that he wanted to get a Prussian government job, but that was all to come. It was not all clear to me at the time, the fullness of the joke about the barber, enraged at the repressive domestic policies of the Duke of Wellington, glisteningly sharp cut throat razor in his furious hand, with a lathered up Heine (a committed fan himself of Napoleon to the extent of tapping out Ah! ca ira at the odd dreary aristocratic dinner party) in the chair desperately trying to mollify him with happy thoughts of Wellington's patriotic victories over the enemies of sea girt Britannia in the English fragments only became apparent when I read The Making of the English Working Class, but there you go, such is the penalty you pay for not being a subject of George IV. Education, it seems is an ongoing flow.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Klawitter

    Not sure how widely available this book is. I picked up a very nice used hardcover with a 1948 copyright. Nevertheless, the translation of both the poems and prose is excellent. Some excerpts: "I have never laid great store by poetic glory, and whether my songs are praised or blamed matters little to me. But lay a sword on my bier, for I have been a good soldier in the wars of human liberation." Your letter does not move me Although the words are strong; You say you will not love me--- But ah, the Not sure how widely available this book is. I picked up a very nice used hardcover with a 1948 copyright. Nevertheless, the translation of both the poems and prose is excellent. Some excerpts: "I have never laid great store by poetic glory, and whether my songs are praised or blamed matters little to me. But lay a sword on my bier, for I have been a good soldier in the wars of human liberation." Your letter does not move me Although the words are strong; You say you will not love me--- But ah, the letter's long.... Twelve pages, neat and double. A little essay! Why, One never takes such trouble To write a mere good by. "A book, like a child, needs time to be born. Books written quickly---within a few weeks----make me suspicious of the author. A respectable woman does not bring a child into the world before the ninth month." "I hate that abortion which is called State-Religion...It is injurious to the interests of religion herself and her sacred character that she be invested with special privileges...and that her ministers in return should pledge themselves to uphold the State in order to retain that endowment. Thus one hand washes the other; the spiritual washes the temporal and vice versa; and what you have is twaddle and nonsense which is folly towards God and an abomination to men."

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cooper Renner

    For me, the poetry is the heart of this book, but the two prose works also have much to recommend them. Five stars for the poems, three for the prose.

  4. 4 out of 5

    S.C. Flynn

  5. 5 out of 5

    Liviu

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jesse O'Connor

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mariam Kandiashvili

  8. 4 out of 5

    maryspendiff

  9. 4 out of 5

    Anemones

  10. 5 out of 5

    N

  11. 4 out of 5

    Herr Bellerophon

  12. 4 out of 5

    Herbert

  13. 5 out of 5

    Raganna

  14. 4 out of 5

    Greg Ridge

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cen

  16. 5 out of 5

    Stefan Lischewski

  17. 4 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

  18. 4 out of 5

    Little

  19. 4 out of 5

    Floydd Elliott

  20. 5 out of 5

    Fenia

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ben

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Dunmire

  23. 4 out of 5

    Michael Lloyd-Billington

  24. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  25. 4 out of 5

    Innerpattern

  26. 5 out of 5

    Wolfgang

  27. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Mancillas

  28. 4 out of 5

    Douglas

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bill Novak

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sam Fickling

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