b.z. niditch | heine for an exile


Your anonymous lines
sang out of spidery voices
from Schubert and Schumann
like your cries for Freiheit
from the university in Bonn,
your enlightened love of satire
made liars out of all reaction,
with interest in Hegel
and an impolite mentor Schlegel
lead to a political universe
without any polemical curse,
as a hopeful reader’s satisfaction
in exile with quotes and words
against dictates or dictatorship,
I still hear the art song music
and critic inside of you,
for your friendship’s hand banishes
all fear to worship the truth
a one time youthful admiration
in a historical smile on Robespierre
for language vanishes all cares,
your verses,Heinrich,
in Marx’s journal Forward
on whirling uncensored pages,
Nietzsche swore that you were
the lyric poet and first artist
to teach us
for the ages in German speech,
that when I get melancholy
and the band won’t play
by December’s bolted door
or grey news of fraudulent war
comes to stay,
I refuse to despair,
it’s to your poetry and lieder
I reach for.

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