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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

heinrich heine celebrates a cat

The poet Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) is one of the best known German poets, yet he lived much of his life in Paris and is buried there. Though he wrote at the height of German Romanticism, he developed a wry and observant wit that instead focused sharply on society and politics - so much so that the Nazis actually burned his books in 1933.  So it doesn't surprise me that in this selection below, Heine celebrates a kitty with her own mind and agenda.  You cannot tell me he didn't approve.

From Mimi:

"There are common cats and quiet,
In their parlours who sit spinning;
I was never one; I wander
On the house-tops, free and sinning.

"And on summer nights, when yearning
In the air so cool and healing, 
Music growls in me and rumbles,
And I sing with genuine feeling."

So says Mimi. From her bosom
Come the bridal raptures swelling,
And the bachelors about her
Seem to find them most compelling.

For they crowd around her, purring
In the same peculiar fashion, 
And they join in Mimi's music
All aglow with love and passion.

-- Found in Heinrich Heine, Works Vol. 12, Margaret Armour, trans. (New York: E.P, Dutton & Company, 1906) pp. 108-109.

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