Three Poems By Heinrich Heine
Detail of “The Poet Heinrich Heine”, c.1831, by Moritz Daniel Oppenheim
I. Foreign Correspondent
Rushing to Prussia to write my story,
I reach a rustic, roadside cross
and, fixed to it fast, a fading figure.
My saviour cousin, they got your number.
Dismayed . . . deluded . . . desolate . . . dreamer!
You could not redeem a feeble plot.
Did you have to provoke the priesthood,
challenge the state and offend the council?
I am afraid your own time preceded
the miracle of the printing presses.
Otherwise, you could have composed
a treatise about the affairs of heaven.
The prudent censor would have deleted
the riskiest lines to let you off —
evading the pain, the trouble and even
the gossip of the crucifixion.
You might have waded more tactfully into
the rich in that Sermon on the Mount . . .
Misguided, lonely leader! How dared you
incite the bigotry of your neighbours?
And . . . you raised the audacious chutzpah
to drive the bankers out of the temple!
They’ve displayed your form on the cross,
as a warning, to the likes of me.
- The Rest Is Silence
- The Sacred And The Secular In Contemporary Art
- Regulating Markets In An Economy Without Angels
- Birth Mother
- Europe and the Nation State: Thoughts on Ortega y Gasset
- Seven New Poems
- Rediscovering Our Moral Purpose
- Our Strength And Stay
- Two Poems From Spain
- Why Only Countries Willing To Take Risks Will Survive And Prosper
- From The Berlin Wall To Brexit: Why Politics Needs A Free Press
- Saying Yes To Sara
- The Viagra Triangle
- Two Languages And The Chasm Between Them
- Western Civilisation In Crisis
- The Man On Whom Everything Was Lost
- The Long Shadow Of Malthus
- Beyond Obama: Advice To The Next President
- Salerno Diary
Popular Standpoint topics