Love Down the Millennia: Three Poems by Heinrich Heine

Translated from the German and edited by Thomas Ország-Land (March 2015)


Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) on the cover of Die Jugend

1

MY BROTHER THE DREAMER

 

Trundling across this withering landscape,

I see from my stagecoach a roadside cross

and, attached to it, a fading figure.

My saviour brother, they got your number.

 

Dismayed... deluded... desolate... dreamer!

You could not redeem a feeble plot.

Did you have to challenge the priesthood,

provoke the state and offend the council?

 

I am afraid your time preceded

the miracle of the printing presses.

Otherwise, you might 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 of the Mount...

Lonely, misguided leader! How dared you

incite the bigotry of your neighbours?

 

And... you had 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.

 

 

2

MORNING COFFEE

 

My beloved, my devoted

friend and woman brings my morning

treat to bed: strong brown and fragrant

coffee with white cream, for breakfast.

 

As she serves it flirting, joking,

with unending cooing, fooling,

you might think in all creation

there is not a sweeter laughter.

 

I imagine that the flutelike

intonation of her chatter

can be matched by angels only

and the songbirds’ lusty twitter.

 

Her white hand – a tender lily!

How her wafting, light, cascading

curls caress her rosy features!

Such a beauty – such great splendour!

 

Yet, this morning, it has struck me

(why? or why not?) that her waistline

might be just a shade more slender

...just a little, just a touch.

 

     

3

THE POWER OF POETRY

 

When I cried out my pain and pride and joy

you yawned: Get lost you silly boy!

When I set out my soul in poetry

you raised your heart and sang with me.

 

 

________________________________________________

 

Thomas Ország-Land (b. 1938) is a poet and award-winning foreign correspondent who writes from London and his native Budapest. His poetry appears in current, forthcoming or very recent issues of Acumen, Ambit, The Hungarian Quarterly, The Jewish Quarterly, The London Magazine and Stand.

(Author Photo by Hajnalka Friebert)

 

 

To comment on these poems, please click here.

To help New English Review continue to publish translations of poetry such as this, please click here.

If you enjoyed these poems and want to read more by Thomas Ország-Land, please click here.
 

 


Order from Amazon or Amazon UK today!


Order from Amazon or Amazon.UK today!


Order from Amazon US
or Amazon UK today!

Audiobook


Amazon donates to World Encounter Institute Inc when you shop at smile.amazon.com/ch/56-2572448. #AmazonSmile #StartWithaSmile

Subscribe

Categories

Adam Selene (2) A.J. Caschetta (7) Alexander Murinson (1) Andrew Harrod (4) Bat Ye'or (6) Bradley Betters (1) Brex I Teer (9) Brian of London (32) Christina McIntosh (863) Christopher DeGroot (2) Conrad Black (517) Daniel Mallock (5) David P. Gontar (7) David Solway (78) David Wemyss (1) Dexter Van Zile (74) Dr. Michael Welner (3) Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff (1) Emmet Scott (1) Eric Rozenman (4) Esmerelda Weatherwax (9556) Fergus Downie (5) Fred Leder (1) Friedrich Hansen (7) G. Murphy Donovan (63) Gary Fouse (144) Geert Wilders (13) Geoffrey Botkin (1) Geoffrey Clarfield (329) Hannah Rubenstein (3) Hossein Khorram (2) Howard Rotberg (5) Hugh Fitzgerald (21014) Ibn Warraq (10) Ilana Freedman (2) James Como (23) James Robbins (1) James Stevens Curl (2) Janice Fiamengo (1) Jerry Gordon (2508) Jerry Gordon and Lt. Gen. Abakar M. Abdallah (1) Jesse Sandoval (1) John Constantine (122) John Hajjar (5) John M. Joyce (391) Jonathan Ferguson (1) Jonathan Hausman (4) Joseph S. Spoerl (10) Kenneth Francis (2) Kenneth Lasson (1) Kenneth Timmerman (25) Lorna Salzman (9) Louis Rene Beres (37) Marc Epstein (8) Mark Anthony Signorelli (11) Mark Durie (7) Mark Zaslav (1) Mary Jackson (5066) Matthew Hausman (41) Michael Curtis (619) Michael Rechtenwald (15) Mordechai Nisan (2) Moshe Dann (1) NER (2590) New English Review Press (72) Nidra Poller (73) Nikos A. Salingaros (1) Nonie Darwish (10) Norman Berdichevsky (86) Paul Oakley (1) Paul Weston (5) Paula Boddington (1) Peter McLoughlin (1) Philip Blake (1) Phyllis Chesler (102) Rebecca Bynum (7183) Richard Butrick (24) Richard Kostelanetz (16) Richard L. Benkin (21) Richard L. Cravatts (7) Richard L. Rubenstein (44) Robert Harris (84) Sally Ross (36) Sam Bluefarb (1) Sha’i ben-Tekoa (1) Springtime for Snowflakes (4) Stephen Schecter (1) Steve Hecht (25) Ted Belman (8) The Law (90) Theodore Dalrymple (862) Thomas J. Scheff (6) Thomas Ország-Land (3) Tom Harb (4) Tyler Curtis (1) Walid Phares (29) Winfield Myers (1) z - all below inactive (7) z - Ares Demertzis (2) z - Andrew Bostom (74) z - Andy McCarthy (536) z - Artemis Gordon Glidden (881) z - DL Adams (21) z - John Derbyshire (1013) z - Marisol Seibold (26) z - Mark Butterworth (49) z- Robert Bove (1189) zz - Ali Sina (2)
clear
Site Archive