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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lost in the translation...

In looking for the words to a poem by my favorite 19th century poet in regard to another post I'm working on,  I came across this little gem.  I could not resist sharing it.

Wenn ich in deine Augen seh,
So schwindet all mein Leid und Weh;
Doch wenn ich küsse deinen Mund,
So werd ich ganz und gar gesund.
Wenn ich mich lehn an deine Brust,
Kommt's über mich wie Himmelslust;
Doch wenn du sprichst: "Ich liebe dich!"
So muß ich weinen bitterlich.

Heinrich Heine 1797-1856

I think some poetry can be translated and retain the intent of the writer's message, but then again things are oftentimes best expressed in the language that they were originally written.  So it is with most of Herr Heine's work.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Too soon gone.

I attended the funeral of the father of one of my friends last week.  I debated going, as I wondered if my friend would want me there.  As it turned out, he did.

It was emotional for both of us, a great deal more so than I imagined.   As I mention in previous posts, I was very much attached to my dad.  Still not a day goes by that I don't think about calling him to tell him this or that.  There are many things my father told me in the course of our lives.  He and I spent a great deal of time together, and yet, it was still not enough.

Folks have been slipping away from me, I guess it's always been that way.  My father's cousins. One was a priest.  He was a scholar and my ideal minister.  Dad used to say to me.  'Stop by and visit Father Ralph', on my way to and from wherever I was going.  I was young then, and life seemed eternal.  Ralph had always been there.  Perhaps in not being cognizant of my own mortality I did not see his either.  Then one day he was gone.

Uncle Lee.  We never really got to sit down and talk about some things that I'd wanted to ask him about.  He was killed by a cracker.  The guy was speeding, suspended license, no insurance on a borrowed truck.  Blew through an intersection and then Uncle Lee was gone.  I always say that there's no such thing as a worthless human being, but then some white trash asshole kills my uncle and I have to think, well, maybe there are one or two....  Lee was a kind, loving man for whom there was nothing more important than family.  Taken too soon.