Dichters Land

November 30, 2009

Wer den Dichter will verstehen
Muss in Dichters Lande gehen.

Goethe.

If the poet you’d understand
Go you must in the poet’s land.

I read that these lines are frequently cited by guidebooks and corporations for the promotion of tourism in places where literary tourism is popular.  For myself, I had always read it as in injunction to try one’s hand at artistic production.

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Zanthens Yacht Xanthippe
war völlig unberechenbar,
trieb stets regelwidrig quer,
prosperierte oft nicht mehr,
landete kreuz-jammerbar
im Haitihafen gar,
fuhr entgegenkreuzend dann
Cubas Blumenküste an.

[By J Krüss, via !anaj ,em s’taht.]

Untranslatable, surely, but imitable. Some day.

For Moominissa.