Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Heinrich Heine on Nature and Poetry

"Like a good poet, nature does not like abrupt transitions. The clouds, as bizarre as they sometimes appeared to be shaped, have a white or at least a soft tint that corresponds harmoniously with the blue sky and the green earth, so that all the colors of a region melt into one another like gentle music, and every view of nature has the effect of quieting pain and calming the spirit. [...] Just like a great poet, nature knows how to produce the greatest effects with the fewest means. It has only a sun, trees, flowers, water, and love. To be sure, if the last is lacking in the heart of the observer, the whole view will probably seem to be a poor one; the sun is then only so-and-so many miles in diameter, the trees are good for kindling, the flowers are classified by their stamens, and water is wet."

-- from The Hartz Journey, The German Library 32, pg. 125


John said...

Well, that sunset sucked.

Troy Camplin said...

Ah, yes. The very disconnect that makes it funny drive home exactly what Heine was saying about beauty and love.