Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Heinrich Heine

same as it ever was


  1. [A Young Man Loves a Maiden]

    When I read “[A Young Man Loves a Maiden,]” I noticed immediately the way in which the poem more or less concisely outlined a majority of the first forty stories of Boccaccio’s "Decameron," a book of 100 Medieval and Renaissance short stories and fables. The fourth ‘day’ of the Decameron, a total of ten stories, was composed entirely of depressing tales of those who found love and subsequently lost it. Boccacio’s in-text audience wept or grew close to weeping with each story of the fourth day, though the general plot of each was relatively similar. Heine’s lines, “It is so old a story,/ Yet somehow always new” (9-10) echo this observation. Similar stories share elements as they embody one archetypical path of a sort of love-story hero cycle.

    Heine’s poem is romantic in that instead of focusing on the universal concept of love unfulfilled in humanity as a whole, it centers its plight back to an individual, the young man first in love. The poem acknowledges how for the young man, the story and experience is new, and to “[have] just lived it,/ It breaks his heart in two” (11-12). Yes, affection is often one-sided and that is the way of the world, but Romantic concepts put weight on the unfortunate, devastated young man. The emphasis on the plight of the individual in the poem highlights how each ubiquitous story of love unattained leaves heartbreak with the individuals involved.

    In the first 8 lines of the poem, Heine quickly and deliberately sets up a complicated story, with “A young man loves a maiden /Who chooses another instead /This other loves still another /And these two haply wed” (1-4). With a chain of one young person loving another and with no reciprocation of those affections, Heine introduces two men and two women, but only one of the young men apparently satisfied. The next four lines have the first maiden quickly wedding yet another young man. The complexity of this love polygon could represent another Romantic idea, that the human world is too complex and people should return to a simpler time and live with Nature.

    I have 60 short stories to go in "The Decameron," and though some are similar, each of the characters are individuals, as the young man in the poem.

    *the Decameron is in quotations because underline and italics don't work on blogspot.

  2. The palm tree the pine dreams of is "lonely" (7), much like the pine. However, it is also "silently mourning" (7). The habitats of both trees are remarkably similar. The land they grow on is remarkably inhospitable, “bare” (2) and “rocky” (8). In addition, they are isolated from other trees and organisms because of this. Yet, only the palm tree mourns. The reason for this is probably in the imagery Heine supplies, particularly the “bright” (3) snow the pine tree is covered in. The snow would only be bright if the sun was shining strongly, therefore implying that the snow will soon melt. The water resulting from this may herald the advent of spring and the bare plateau the pine lives on may repopulate itself. Yet, the reader is given no indication of any hope for the palm tree in changing its situation. Therefore, it mourns.

    The personification of the two trees seems to go beyond a mere Romantic association of human moods with natural scenery. The poem’s emphasis is not on the tree’s appearance or surroundings, but instead on its feelings, almost as if Heine is reflecting a part of humanity on nature. The dreams the pine dreams seem to reflect the dreams humans often have. There are elements of fantasy, in the imagining of the “Eastern land” (6) the pine has never seen, and of reflection of reality, in the similarities of the habitats. It may be that Heine is reflecting an entire observation of humanity on a natural image. The loneliness of the pine tree may reflect any outcast or loner, dreaming of other outcasts, finding solidarity with imaginary characters that would be impossible in reality.
    -Clara Yoon

  3. [A Young Man Loves a Maiden]

    The repetitiveness of the ages emerges from Heine’s lines. In complete adherence to emotion over reason, the maiden of the poem does not consider logical recourse to an unrequited love. In the version I found, the maiden, in a blind emotional outbreak, weds the first man who presented himself, thus causing the heartbreak of the original man. Heine’s poem recounts the folly of simultaneous heart breaks, and the human nature that forces the same occurrence to repeat itself in “an old, old story, / Yet still forever new” (9-10). In this tale, one successful love results in two “breaks [of] the heart” (12).
    Heine uses “From spite, the maiden marries / the first who comes along” (5-6) to indicate that the maiden does not care about the primary boy’s affections. Insecure and made cruel by a recent heart break, the maiden, spurned by the one she loved, in turn spurns another. With no hope for herself, Heine implies that the maiden adopts a “if I cannot marry the one I love, neither can he” mentality. The maiden’s attitude of impatience and spite creates a situation that “the youth must rue” (8). Romantic qualities of this poem have the girl give in to her emotion instead of catching a second wind and reasoning through to a new solution.
    Feeling slightly less than joyous after reading this poem, sorrowful by most standards, I wondered at the thoughtlessness of youth that drives these reactions, the spontaneous outbursts of pure emotion that would cause such pain.

  4. Heine begins and ends the poem describing the depressing scene of these two tress, influenced by the subjective feeling he place in his words. The loneliness, the bare plateau, the ice, and the sunburnt rock all contribute to picturing an uneventful, unhappy, and unsatisfactory place for life. He personifies nature, giving the trees the ability to dream, to hope, to mourn, and to suffer, which are the main qualities, both good and bad, that make up us humans or the feelings that deeply effect humans in their thinking. By personifying the two trees, Heine is going beyond the appearance of nature, as well as the moods of Nature, and focusing more on the deeper feelings that can drive or ruin one's life.

    Including the lines, "a bright white blanket / enshrouds him in ice and snow" (3-4) and "on a sunburnt rock strand, (8) Heine is showing his interest in Nature and scenery. Here, in this poem, there is a distinct contrast between the two habitats of the trees, yet both are lonely and mourn for something new to satisfy them. This brings up the idea or topic that one may not be satisfied through one's surroundings, but through one's personal thoughts. This poem has shown that feelings can be much stronger and much more important than the objects around oneself, emphasizing the importance of the power of the imagination and personal expression, for the pine tree dreams of such a place that the palm tree resides in. Yet both trees are in the same state of being, possibly expressing that individuals with similarities can find solace or consolation in one another, something that is present in the behavior of humans.

  5. My response, above, was on "A Pine Is Standing Lonely" by Heinrich Heine

  6. "A Pine is Standing Lonely"

    The overall message to be taken from this poem is that the grass isn't always greener on the other side. The lonely pine dreams of being elsewhere, in a place that seems much better than his current location. But in reality, a tree alone on a beach is no more content than a tree alone in the snow. The trees obviously symbolize humans, and the meaning of the pine tree's thoughts is that a lonely man cannot be happy, regardless of his situation.
    Depending on the translation, the pine tree is referred to with masculine pronouns ("he", "his", etc.) while the palm tree of which he dreams is referred to with feminine pronouns. In the original German poem, the word for palm tree, "Palme", is a feminine noun. The allusion of the pine tree can therefore be interpreted as a lonely man dreaming of a girl. This of course ties back into the idea that no lonely man (or woman) can be happy.

  7. "A Pine is Standing Lonely"

    At first, it the author leads you to believe that it is the pine tree that is the main subject, dejected and "lonely" (1). However, as the poem progresses, Heine twists your attention to the palm tree. Much as the sleeping pine dreams of a palm tree, hoping to trade places with it, the palm tree is in no better a place. He is subject to "silently mourning" (7). Also, the author's use of the word "lonely" (1, 7) suggest that both trees are alone in their separate worlds. This poem directly relates to the association of human moods with the 'moods' of Nature.
    The emotional response is almost immediately brought to a depressing one, and is kept that way, leading to despair at the end, when the author leads the audience to believe that something happy will occur at the end, and no such occurrence actually occurs.

  8. In Heinrich Heine’s “[A Pine Is Standing Lonely],” there is distinct separation between reality and fantasy. The poem’s message is one of escaping and of living a different life outside of one’s actual constrictions. This idea of emancipation and freedom directly coincides with the mentalities of romanticism, of imagination and liberation. This is conveyed through the using of a natural symbol, the tree in its environment, which here is wishing to escape his blanket of cold and situation of “standing lonely” and reach a state of warmth and paradise. The contrast in temperatures, natural settings, and physical beings makes clear that the poem is a form of romanticism and is also key to allowing the reader to feel the emotions portrayed by the author. While, upon reading the poem, the sudden contrast from such a sorrowful environment to such a pleasant one may at first spark a sense of joy, the poem is ultimately depressing, as the reader realizes that the cold blanket of ice is reality, and the sunny beach weather is but a flight of the mind's eye.

    --Alec Herskowitz

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.


    In Heine’s poem “A Pine is Standing Lonely” it appears to be that the pine tree not only is partially in love with but also envy’s the life of a palm tree. This is how the poem becomes romantic; the author shows us an increasing interest in nature and the differences between different environments, and also the pine tree has a jealous and envious mood, whereas he palm tree is portrayed as having a lonesome and sad mood. But what the author is really trying to say is that perhaps the idea that we all love the life of others and wish we had what they had. Heine could be saying to cherish the events that occur on the road of your own life. The author even points out that the life of the palm tree is not as great as it seems: “He's dreaming of a palm tree/ Far away in the Eastern land/ Lonely and silently mourning/ On a sunburnt rocky strand” (Lines 5-8). Heine points out, in this stanza, that even though the palm appears to have a wonderful life, it still is “lonely and silently mourning” (7), and “On a sunburnt rocky strand” (8). I can see what the author is trying to say about cherishing your own life and not envying that of others because their have been countless times when I, and likely many other people, have wanted the life of another person (a celebrity, professional athlete, etc.), but when one reflects on their own life, they often find characteristics of individuality and style worth keeping.

  11. On the most basic leve, Heinrich Heine applys his interest in the likes of nature, particularly that of polar climates. He then uses this foundation to trancend reality in personifying the fir tree that is his subject. The scenery is obvious in this context, as simple, fitting imagery is utilized. Once this branch of simplicity is established, Heine touches on a realm which is far from simple, creating opposition. His segway into a dream turns the switch for reality off. Dreams, as in "A Pine is Standing Lonely", signify a jump to imagination as well as an entrance into the subconscious. The contrasting subject of the dream bring about a sense of spontaneity, reinforced by the actual expression of that thought.

  12. "A Pine Is Standing Lonely"
    The title of this poem is very Romantic in itself as it represents some of the concepts of Romanticism. While the title can be interpreted as the pine is alone, by using the word lonely, Heine implies that the pine is able to feel emotions and that this pine is lonely. This associates human moods with the mood of the pine, creating the subjective feeling for it that is evident in many other Romantic poems, and showing Heine's interpretation of the mood. The most obvious concept of Romanticism in this poem is the evidence of nature and the use of scenery. "In the North on a bare plateau." This depicts a background with a plateau which occasionally can present a peaceful background, but in this poem is depicts a sad background due to the lonely pine.
    "He's dreaming of a palm tree
    Far away in the Eastern land
    Lonely and silently mourning
    On a sunburnt rocky strand."
    This stanza personalizes the pine and associates it with humans. Humans tend to wonder about the other side of the world. Is it different? Is it similar? It's a curiosity that as humans we always tend to have about things we don't know. Humans also like to imagine. If they don't know what is on the other side, then they imagine it's something devastating or something beautiful or just different. The power of imagination is thus also prevalent in this poem.
    The personalization alone is a literary technique that Heine uses so that we can "relate" as well as one can to a tree. But it makes the pine come alive to us as the readers.
    My emotional reaction was sadness. As absurd as it is, I almost wanted to reach that pine and talk to it or wrap a blanket around it because it feels so human. It felt sad that it was lonely with no one by its side.

  13. [A Young Man Loves a Maiden]

    What is so remarkable about this poem (in my mind, at least) is that fact that poet Heinrick Heine isn't talking about anything new. Many people have said the same things about human relationships, but Heine manages to enlighten the subject of emotional confusion and love with a kind simplicity. He passes little judgement on his subjects, nor does he write their memoirs. The poem tells the truth, and it is plain and short and beautiful. One is reminded of "Casablanca" and the song "As Time Goes By" with the closing "It is an old, old story,/ Yet still forever new" (9-10).
    It is not blantantly Romantic, for it lacks that intense microscope on the individual, and its connection of nature is tenuous. It's focus is rather on the nature of humans, and the interconnection of many individuals.
    Perhaps the simplicity of the poem is what makes it feel so universal. Though marriages may not have sprung out of it as described in the poem, most have found themselves in at least one of the positions described: being an object of jealousy, being loved without returning the affection, or vice versa.
    In any case, the poem strikes a chord as it, in only twelve lines, manages to infuse well-worn subject matter with new vitality via Heine's careful work as wordsmith.

  14. [Ein Jüngling liebt ein Mädchen]

    This poet writes of a man's one-side love of a women, even though she "has chosen another" (2). However, it avoids the focus on the individual which is a key concept of Romanticism. Rather, the poet focuses on the natural tendencies of all humans, which is a different take then most poet use when focusing on Nature. The poet writes that "It's an old story,/ but it always stays new" (9-10). There are no names or places given, making the poem a generalization and warning for whoever reads it.

    //Max Timkovich

  15. "A Young Man Loves A Maiden"

    This poem is Romantic because it puts an emphasis on the emotion of the five individuals involved, and of how their actions are common to all people. Their emotions, love and spite, aren't emotions that necessarily benefit anyone, so to make those the defining points of the characters is different from previous poetry. But the universality of those emotions is what makes the poem so successful because most people have felt those emotions to some degree, and to have them as the main focus makes the poem a much more general case, and one that would reach many more people.

    The simplistic aspect of the poem is especially unique, as Heine as detailed a common dilemma for many in just a few lines, even managing to add an epilogue of sorts at the end. Adding to the simplicity is the commonness of the story itself. Heine writes that "it is an old, old story" (9), yet the perspective and enlightenment makes this poem "forever new" (10).

  16. In "A Pine is Standing Lonely," Heinrich Heine uses succinct description of his subjects to emphasize his point, such that the poem resembles an adage. Although Heine describes no human subjects, he attributes human emotions and actions to the trees, depicting them as "lonely" and "mourning." This personification of nature, as well as the poet's focus on passion and emotion, makes the poem Romantic. Additionally, Heine's use of vivid adjectives and verbs, such as "enshrouds" and "sunburnt," illustrates the focus on natural scenery common in this genre.

    Like the parables it resembles, the poem tells a metaphorical anecdote in which the character (or, in this case, the tree) represents some form of human nature. Here, Heine is remarking upon our tendency to imagine what we cannot have. A certain parallelism can be seen between the "bare plateau" and the "sunburnt rocky strand," implying that what we visualize is not so different from our current state. For the most part, I agree with Heine's analysis: I often find myself wondering what it would be like to live a completely different life, although I often fail to see my thoughts' similarities to my current situation.

    As a side-note, this poem reminded me of this: http://xkcd.com/372/. It's a slightly different story line, but similar nonetheless.

  17. Heine’s [“A Pine is Standing Lonely]” is romantic because it shows his growing interest in scenery and the ‘moods’ of nature. In this poem, Heine sees the ‘moods’ of nature to be “lonely” and in “mourning”, especially because the setting is in some place cold, further emphasizing the snow-caped and “lonely” state in which he finds this pine. He mentions that the pine is “dreaming” and through its dreams, it is expressing the spontaneity it craves but cannot have. Heine also slightly presses that perhaps if the pine continues to dream of becoming a palm tree, by the “power of his imagination” (from the “Romanticism” sheet), one day when he awakens from his frosted slumber, he will become the palm tree he longed to be and finally escape from his icy solitude.

    This is my favorite poem yet! I admire his pine and its aspirations to one day be a palm tree even though everyone knows that scientifically, a pine cannot turn into one. Well, one can dream. I think by the way Heine also admires this pine’s ambitions, that he wishes himself to be the dreaming pine and to turn in to that palm tree that is surrounded by bliss and warmth, not snow and cold always being weighed down by dreams it may not be able to make come true.

  18. “A Pine is Standing Lonely”

    The poem “A Pine is Standing Lonely” by Heinrich Heine contains many aspects of Romantic poetry. For one, the poem expresses great interest in nature- its’ subject is that of two trees. A great deal of imagery is used in this poem to paint a picture in the reader’s mind of each tree in its’ setting- this ties into the romantic theme of scenery. The pine is in a cold, wintry setting, and “the ice and snow flakes swathe him in folds of white” (lines 3-4). The palm is in a broiling, sunny setting, on “her burning bank of sand” (line 8).

    This poem strongly embodies the idea of imagination in two ways. People like to assume that trees have no feelings or cannot have thoughts, but in this poem Heine refutes this idea. He as the author has created a fantasy- he tells the story of a pine tree that has feelings and a mind. He is imagining a story like this. The lonely pine tree itself also imagines things- it has dreams, dreams of a “palm tree, far in the sunrise land” (lines 5-6). Not only does the pine tree have dreams and feelings, but the palm does as well. Heine uses syntax and diction to depict these trees as having feelings, but also to create meaning through emotion. When the palm is described as “lonely and silent longing” (line 7), the reader feels empathy for it, the same way they do for the lonely pine. By giving the trees emotions, Heine stirs emotion in the reader as well- the reader is able to emotionally connect with the poem, which gives it meaning to them. As a reader, I felt a sense of sadness and pity when I read this poem- I almost wished that it were possible for these trees to somehow come together.

  19. Heine decides to humanize nature in this poem. The poem tells of a pinecone that is isolated from anything else, including a palm tree.
    "He sleeps; a bright white blanket
    Enshrouds him in ice and snow" explains how the pinecone is stuck where "he" is and far from the palm tree which relates to how problems can get in the way of desires in real life. Heine writes,
    "He's dreaming of a palm tree
    Far away in the Eastern land
    Lonely and silently mourning
    On a sunburnt rocky strand"
    and closely relates human moods with the pinecone which personifies it. The pinecone "feels" mournful of the fact that he is far away from the palm tree and the poet uses imagery to describe it by explaining the scenery where the pinecone is and the scenery where the palm tree is.

  20. A Young Man Loves a Maiden by Heinrich Heine

    This poem tells the classic tale of a girl marrying in spite of another male loving her. The first time I read this, I did not see how it had any emotional tie, and sounded like it should be read in a monotone. After a second reading, however, I can picture a sad man reading this poem as though he had just gone through a painful event such as this. He has had this encounter more than once, for he knows how the story will end each time, even though he doesn’t realize it until the end.

    This man displays many romantic aspects, as he himself has gone through these events, or seen them first hand. He explores his thoughts as he realizes his mistakes, and hers, and is able to get in touch with his true feelings.

  21. "A Pine is Standing Lonely"

    Heine personifies a tree in this poem, giving it the emotion of loneliness, along with desires to be elsewhere. He comments on the harsher aspects of nature, pointing out the desolation in both heat and snow. Both the trees mentioned by Heine are presumably unhappy with where they are. The tree in the North is "dreaming of a palm tree / Far away in the Eastern land." Meanwhile, this tree is "silently mourning / On a sunburnt rocky strand."
    Both the trees' desires and emotions along with their distinct feeling of loneliness make them all too human. Heine connects to nature not by dictating a return to it, but making it resemble humanity.

  22. Response to "A Pine is Standing Lonely"

    This poem is obviously romantic, both because of the subject matter and the structure. The subject clearly is glorifying the beauty of nature, describing a pine tree on a mountain in the north and a palm tree in the east. This “lonely” pine also glorifies the individual, another common aspect of romanticism. It also includes imaginations, yet another trait common in romantic poetry.
    The rhyme scheme adds beauty to the poem, and it makes it more romantic in style, as does the absence of a meter. These aspects are typical of romantic poems, and offer the poet a chance to challenge themselves to fit both the idea they are trying to convey and rhyming words into one piece of literature. This has been successfully accomplished in this poem.
    The poem evokes a calm emotion response in me, as it reminds me of a place I visited in the Swiss Alps, which was very snowy, like the described location. Remembering this trip reminds me of the pleasure of being somewhere I have never been before (at least, that I can remember), and the calmness that the ice, snow, and looming pine would inspire.

  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. A pine is standing lonely
    While many poets compose pieces pertaining to nature, humans, or the relationship between the two, Heine does all three in his “[A Pine Is Standing Lonely].” The most obvious characteristic of this work which indicate its Romantic theme is the use of scenery in order to give the poem meaning. However, the most important Romantic quality is the use of the personification of natural entities, which conveys complex human dilemmas, despite the simplicity of the actors. This same personification links the human and the natural and shows the similarity between the two. By having a fir tree envy another, he is telling the reader that longing to be someone, or something, else is an emotion in common to all people and beings. I found “A Pine is Standing Lonely” to be, paradoxically, both depressing and comforting. The palm, which is not distracting itself from his painful environment, is “lonely and silently mourning,” while the fir is only accepting the life it has by losing itself in an alternate realty filled with preferable conditions. This advocates that the only people who are content are those who escape their current condition. While that means that this world is an unhappy one, it also shows that all people share that world and are trying to deal with it the best they can. Even though the world puts us in places we do not like, that is common to all life.

  25. "A Young Man Loves A Maiden"

    When I first read this poem, what striked me most was the simplicity of its structure along with basic truth that Heine presented about humans. This poem is more or less unromantic due to the absence of aspects of romantic poetry. Although Heine does not focus on nature and human emotions, I think that the reader will see through the poem a nature within humans and their relationships with each other. Heine successfully reaches out to his audience and reminds them of the 'old, old story' and even though he does not give any names or places or dates in his poem, he makes a generalization that such events, as described in the poem, do happen in the lives of many individuals and oftentimes do they find themselves in the positions of, for example, the sad young man, or the 'other man' who left his lover.

  26. A Pine Is Standing lonely.

    Heine has written a poem that, unlike most, manages to incur two simple but conflicting emotions: sadness and happiness. On the one hand, the pine tree is frozen and lonely, wanting nothing more than to get away. The palm tree, who supposedly has a warm, sunny, and blissful existence on the beach, is also lonely. Indeed, when I first read this I was struck with a profound sense of sympathy and sadness that these trees (perhaps metaphors for people?) are leading such lonely lives.

    However, the pine tree is dreaming. It is, in the unconscious, happy, and that gives the feeling of hope. It is a "the grass is always greener on the other side" sort of complex, but the hope balances that out.

    Of course, this could also be a metaphor for a relationship: one person in the cold north, the other in a much nicer setting, but both lonely.

    This is like a poster child for romanticism. It exhibits interest in nature, power of the imagination, moods of nature, and scenery.

  27. "[A Pine Is Standing Lonely]"

    In this poem, Heine uses one of the key characteristics of a romantic poem, and that is relating human emotion and moods to those of the natural world. It's reasonably safe to say that trees do not sleep as we know it. Therefore, it is even safer to say that they probably "[dream] of a palm tree" when they are sealed away in winter.
    Ironically enough, the palm that the pine tree dreams of seems to be just as unhappy as the pine, only it is "lonely and silently mourning on a sunburnt rocky strand." Initially, I felt a sense of sadness upon reading this poem, because it seemed to say that your desires will not necessarily make you any happier than you already are. It seems to be saying, no matter where you are, your emotions and problems will follow, there's no escaping them.

  28. [A Pine is Standing Lonely]

    The poem makes obvious allusion to nature even through its subject matter, but Heine uses other Romantic principles to create an even deeper texture and emotional response: by projecting emotions onto the pine and personifying it, Heine makes use of imagination -- he muses over what the pine thinks, what it feels, and what it needs, which also generates an emotional response because it focuses on the individual. The pine alone is lonely, it is solitary in its existence, it is the only one. It is the focus of the poem, so, therefore, the poem focuses on the individual through the pine. The anthropomorphic tree creates a new layer of complexity also by associating feelings and emotions with nature, and using specific components of nature to provoke specific emotional responses, for example, the pine is "standing lonely / In the North on a bare plateau." Here, Heine uses the bareness of the plateau and its harsh, inhospitable location in the North to amplify the effect of loneliness and the emotions associated with such a state. I found it fascinating that Heine managed to incorporate so many interesting elements into such a small poem, and they interact extremely well to create a very rich romantic style.

  29. Also, for the record, I had not read the numerous posts concerning "A Pine is Standing Lonely" by the point at which I posted my response, although it is remarkably similar to said posts. I hope you believe me. If you don't, I probably don't care, but I might, so you should.

  30. "A Pine Is Standing Lonely" -Heinrich Heine

    The general theme I took from this poem was that "one always wants what they do not have." Upon thinking deeper into the meaning of the poem, I found another message that "the ideal way may not always be the most satisfying way." The first message is expressed in the poem through the two trees. One is a pine tree standing alone on cold, snow covered ground in envy of a palm tree on a sandy beach. However, the palm tree finds it's environment as dry and lonely. The second message is expressed through the idea that the palm tree is in the ideal environment of a beach, while the pine tree is in a less desired environment of a cold, empty plain. However, even the tree in the idea situation wishes it where elsewhere, stating that this ideal location is detrimental in this instance. Incorporating meaning and symbolism is one of the reasons why this poem is romantic. Another is that it displays the main concept behind romantic poetry, a fascination with nature. The two characters or aspects of the poem are both parts of nature in natural settings that are described by Heine using imagery and romantic voice. The fact that Heine incorporated natural symbols into the piece to create subtle messages completely supports the classification that this poem is romantic.

  31. In “[A Pine Is Standing Lonely]”, Heinrich Heine utilizes a simple, artistic metaphor to express Romantic concepts. He uses the “lonely” pine to symbolize a man in love (most likely himself) who dreams of a palm tree in a “far away” land to the east, representing a woman who probably comes from a different culture. This societal divide between the pair in the poem is made obvious through vivid descriptions of the scenery. The pine tree stands on a frozen plain while “a bright white blanket/ enshrouds him in ice and snow”. The second stanza describes a harshly contrasting environment, a “sunburnt rocky strand” in a distant Eastern desert. The juxtaposition of these landscapes provides an insight on the situation of this couple.
    The brevity of the language is different from some of the Romantic poems we have looked at earlier, whose language is more flowery and descriptive. However, this style adds to the power of the poem, the clarity of the language representing the author’s stark view of the situation.

  32. Heinrich Heine-"A Pine is Standing Lonely"
    (I accidentally put it in the original section as well)

    It would be a simple task to suggest that the lone pine tree is a phallic symbol (the ice and snow would have been a nice touch) and that the palm tree is a symbol of a lady that Heine dreams of, as he uses the pronoun “her” near the end of the poem. However, he personifies the lone pine by using words such as “sleeps,” “standing,” and “dreams,” which is something he would not do if he were describing the pine tree as a phallus. These verbs are not only human, but languorous and allude to a metaphoric hibernation, further emphasized by his use of the word "blanket." He is waiting for and dreaming of Inspiration, symbolized by a beautiful feminine palm tree on a “sunburnt rocky strand,” (Line 8). Inspiration is almost always portrayed as a woman, such as the muses that Homer so frequently invoked. He plans to find this inspiration elsewhere, in "the Eastern land,"(Line 6).

    Alex Greaves

  33. a pine is standing lonely?
    Scenery for meaning and stuff. The palm tree is something like a girl, or maybe it's not a girl, i don't think it really matters. He likes nature and he likes girls.

  34. “A Pine Is Standing Lonely,” by Heinrich Heine, is romantic mostly because of its anthropopathy, an artistic literary device. Giving human emotions to trees takes imagination because the poet has to envision how a human would feel in the position of the tree. A tree cannot move or actively affect anything around it, so any human would feel helpless in this situation. The poem exudes this emotion, depicting two trees that are lonely in completely different environments and have no way to reach each other. This reminds me of a common theme in human romance: two people that are in love and cannot act on it.

  35. “[A Pine is Standing Lonely]”

    One thing that strikes me as odd about this poem is that the pine dreams of a palm tree who is “lonely and silently mourning” (7). In my mind, I usually connect dreams with pleasantness, as well as palm trees with happiness. The words, however, lead me to two possible conclusions: either the pine tree is thinking about how it could be worse (for he is just “lonely” (1), while the palm tree, as I stated before, is both “lonely and silently mourning” (7)), or to take that a step farther, the pine tree, through his dream, is creating an instance of schadenfreude, looking at someone less fortunate than him to cheer him up. The second seems too outlandish to me for tree thoughts, so I prefer to go with the first. Further evidence for this is in Heine’s use of the word “blanket” to describe the snow coating the pine (3-4). Blanket implies a sort of special comfort, while the palm tree’s “sunburnt rocky strand” sounds extremely unpleasant (8), proving my initial feeling (that dreams and palm trees are good and happy) wrong.

    This poem includes the romantic concept of interest in nature, and nature’s feelings, that we have been seeing in most of the romantic poetry we’ve read. It also focuses heavily on the increasing power of imagination, in this case, dreams.

  36. A Young Man Loves A Maiden – Heinrich Heine

    This does not seem to be a traditional Romantic poem at first glance. After all, many of the other poems we have read were centered on scenes from nature or imagined situations. However, this poem does offer Romantic aspects. It deals with the idea of love, “forever new” (10). “It is an old, old story” (9) implies that this same tale has taken place over the ages. Love has always existed, although it has a cruel nature, according to Heine. It is a natural power that is unyielding to anyone or anything. Thus, Heine does indeed infuse Romantic style into his poem by describing a scene in which every action is dictated by love.

    In a sense, this poem also portrays love primitively. It forces people to do things beyond reason, as can be seen in the second stanza. “From spite, the maiden marries/ The first who comesa long,/ And happens ‘cross her path;/ The youth must rue it long” (5-8). Reasoning is seen as something human and civilized, so the lack of reasoning makes the actions of these people primitive and uncivilized.

    The poem focuses more on the concept of love, using the individual characters to portray this concept. However, the characters are not given names, so there is little personal identification with them. I found it hard to identify with any of the characters, but am intrigued by the idea that love is such a powerful force and the idea that it almost always ends badly.

  37. Dan Liu (Topics ENG II Period 5)

    “A Pine Is Standing Lonely” – Heinrich Heine
    I have come upon a variety of writing styles through a number of unique English translations of this poem on the internet. As a result of the language fluctuations, I do not have much to say about the author’s actual, true words and exact devices combined into the poem. The introduction does give a feeling of the natural realm though as it describes the cold, wind-swept northern lands of snow, where a lonely pine tree endures it all. This poem quickly addresses the opposite of such a scene by saying the pine is imagining a tropical palm, also enduring the force of powerful nature (as set by Romanticism), but of burning, intense heat. However, both of these vastly different trees share the trait of loneliness and isolation. Both seem to accept the undoubtedly strong power of nature, as humans should in the thinking of Romanticism.

  38. "A Pine is standing lonely" by Heinrich Heine
    3rd Blog entry
    This poem shows a good example of Romantic
    authors applying human emotion to nature. In this case, Heine writes about a pine tree "dreaming of a palm tree". Obviously the pine tree is in love with some far away palm tree, as they both wish to be together. "A palm tree...Lonely and silently mourning". Perhaps Heine is trying to link these trees to his very own life, which is very common to do in Romantic poems. The two trees could represent him and his lover, who are far away from each other, and stuck where they are rooted.

  39. [A Pine is Standing Lonely]

    This poem parallels, to a certain extent, Heine's other poem [A Young Man Loves A Maiden]. Both the young man and maiden, and the pine and palm tree are mourning. It could be that the two trees love each other, or that it can be a one-sided love as in Heine's other poem. Giving trees these emotions makes it a bit more difficult to tell if this love is one-sided or not.

  40. A Young Man Loves A Maiden

    This poem is a lot simpler than a lot of the other ones in the romantic period, but the topic I think is a little bit more relevant. Heine gives this situation very nonchalantly, which makes me think that he was an observer of these five people and their crazy love issue. I think that perhaps he knew the first boy (the one who loves the maiden) and was sad when his courting didn't go as planned. He might have also known the maiden, which would make sense, as he dedicates a good third of the poem to her story.

    I think the simplicity of this poem defines it as part of the Romantic period, because it deals only with the emotions of those involved, and not with the many other problems that arise from this type of mess.

  41. "Why the Roses are so Pale"

    In this poem, the speaker is lamenting his broken heart. In his depressive state, almost everything he sees, from flowers to birds, reflects his sorrow. There is a “scent of death” in the balsam-buds, the earth is “like a grave,” and even the “roses are so pale.” The speaker intimately connects his own emotions with nature and in the process, personifies nature. Whatever humans feel – pain, happiness, jealousy, nature experiences as well. The Romantic concept stresses a close-bonded relationship between humans and nature.

    The poem is structured such that every single sentence is a question directed towards his “dearest,” most likely the one who has caused him all this grief. These questioning words generate an innocent and confused tone. In presenting these questions to the woman, the speaker is blaming her not only for his own anguish but nature’s as well. The resulting effect is enhanced guilt on the part of the woman.

    The poem moved me in its innocence. The speaker reminds me of a young boy (possibly even a boy) who has experienced love and heartbreak for the first time. All his life, the boy played in the woods and frolicked in the fields, which is why he would have such a strong connection with nature. Subsequently, when a girl has caused his heart to ache, he demands her explanation for his pain and for nature's.

  42. "A Pine is Standing Lonely"

    The most obvious basic element of romanticism in Heinrich Heine's "A Pine is Standing Lonely" is the focus on nature. Heine begins by painting a picture of the lonely pine tree and the lonely palm tree, but the contrast between and the feelings connecting the two trees make the poem truly romantic. The pine tree "dreaming of a palm tree/ Far away in the Eastern land/ Lonely and silently mourning/ On a sunburnt rocky strand." Heine reveals, that while the pine tree may envy the palm tree, the palm tree also envies the pine tree. While it may seem nice for the moment, the life of the palm tree is not as great as it seems, but the pine tree cannot see that. Instead "He sleeps; a bright white blanket/ Enshrouds him in ice and snow." By showing the beauty of the pine trees surroundings, Heine reveals that the pine tree cannot see what it has, and it can only see the good things concerning the palm tree. This reflects the focus on the individual in romantic poems because everyone, at some point, will experience the longing to be be someone or somewhere else, but they will not see themselves, only those surrounding them, and although it is unseen to the individual, it is those thoughts and experiences that will shape one's self. Because no two people, or trees, will have the same experiences, and it is that observation that exposes the individual in their needs, wants, and other thoughts.

    Mr. Sharp, I realize that this response is late. I just now noticed that when I thought I posted it on Thursday it had not actually been posted and you will probably still count it as late.

  43. A Young Man Loves a Maiden

    Unlike the other poems we read in and out of class, this poem doesn't acknowledge nature at all. Rather it discusses traditional human emotions that don't change through the passing years. "It is an old, old story but one thats always new..." What this means is that this incident and ones like it occured way back in time, just as they do now, because it is just nature of human feelings and emotions.

  44. A Young Man Loves A Maiden

    This poem is less obviously romantic than some of the others but if you think about it, there are definitely some romantic aspects. It seems to focus on how this event is forever repeating due to human nature. While the story can make you laugh at how ridiculous it is for such a thing to happen, it actually happens all the time and we don't realize it. It is sad that people put themselves through such ordeals when a better option was right in front of them. Romanticism brought about and increased interest in human nature and the natural way of life. This poem is expressing the idea that no matter how much time goes by, humans will not change their nature and the way they react to different emotions.

  45. “A Young Man Loves a Maiden”

    This poem is romantic because it gives a great deal to personal expression. Heine is lamenting the sorrows and pains of love, and the mistakes that people make. He discusses spontaneity of action when he writes: “From spite, the maiden marries/ the first who comes along” (lines 6-7). Heine blames this spontaneity on the emotions caused by love. He describes this situation as something unavoidable, something that will happen again and again, a situation without a solution. “It is an old, old story/yet still forever new” (lines 9-10). Heine is expressing his sorrow at this reality.

    Heine creates meaning with his syntax and diction. The poem has a matter-of-fact feel to it that leaves you unable to question its’ truth. “The youth must rue it long” (line 8): here, Heine sounds as if he is teaching the reader a lesson. It is as if he is saying: ‘don’t make this mistake, because this is what happened to this young man’. Heine uses phrases such as “every time it happens” (line 11), which also sound as if they are teaching the reader. It is because everyone knows the truth of these statements that the poem leaves the reader unable to question it. The poem’s line breaks also contribute to the matter-of-fact tone: it carries a rhythm that gives it a swingy feeling, and makes the lines come together for the reader. I felt a sense of satisfaction after reading this poem, as if the author has just successfully made an argument. The poem carries an obvious truth, and I felt justified after Heine described the situation so well.

  46. In "A Pine is Standing Lonely," Heine's main point seems to be that people are very narrow-minded. The pine tree is covered in a blanket of snow "dreaming of a palm tree/ Far away in the Eastern land." It dreams of another tree (another person) that is as bad off as it is, a palm tree that is "silently mourning/ On a sunburnt rocky strand," because it takes for granted what it has.

    The poem is romantic in an extremely obvious way, it represents people with trees. It is also romantic in the way it deals with human emotions, like jealousy (the pine tree) and sadness (the palm tree).

  47. A Pine is Standing Lonely

    In this poem, Heine uses a pine tree as a tool to show the power of imagination, a key aspect of Romanticism. The pine tree his poem begins with, “in the North on a bare plateau”, is picturing “a palm tree/ far away in the Eastern land”. The pine imagines a place that’s warm and peaceful, a paradise of sorts. Heine uses the word “dreaming” when describing the sense of longing the pine has for the palm. The picture the pine has created shows the warmer East as Utopia, when in reality it is “rocky” and “sunburnt”. The power of the pine’s imagination is shown by its belief about this distant land, but Heine’s poem also shows the danger of imagination in that what we imagine is not always what is true.
    Another way Heine incorporates fantasy into this poem is in the subject itself. By giving these trees dreams and feelings, he is himself imagining. That personification shows that Heine is connecting feelings to nature, which is another common idea in Romantic poetry.

  48. "A Pine is Standing Lonely" -Heine

    The word choice in the title of this poem demonstrates some of the key points of Romanticism. Heine describes the pine as standing "lonely", rather than "alone", which would be a more accurate for an inanimate object. The difference between the adjectives lonely and alone is that lonely insinuates unhappiness with being alone, which in turn means emotion. So, Heine immediately begins by personifying an inanimate object, relating to it, and relating the audience to it. This personification is furthered, and writes of the pine "dreaming" of the pine--a human action.

    The purpose of a human description of two trees was to serve as a romantic metaphor for humane emotions such as sadness and jealousy.

  49. A Pine is Standing Lonely" -Heinrich Heine

    This poem is romantic because it links easily the emotions of humans and those interpreted by humans in nature. Heine draws a connection between the two solitary figures in the poem. The palm tree and the Pine tree. Both desire to be in opposite circumstances (The Pine tree is "dreaming of a palm tree/ far away on Eastern land"), both are "lonely." THis is obviously a relation to the exact same emotion that occurs in humans, the desire to be in another's shoes, not realizing that they, ironically, desire to be in yours.
    Also, this poem details the stage of the limerick, the two opposite environments and their occupants. The icy scene is "bare plateau", with a pine, who a "bright white blanket/ enshrouds him in ice and snow." The hot environment is a "sunburnt rocky strand." The imagery in both stanzas is vivid, reminding us first of a frigid mountain slope, with a pine prevailing against its doom, secondly of a rocky isle, the sun pounding down on it's back.
    Finally, it connect human intellect and desires with that of nature and its representatives. It associates jealousy and misery with vegetation, as well as knowledge of another territory. Although we know plants do not posses minds, the idea of a kind on consciousness present in flora is a distinctly romantic idea.

  50. "A Pine is Standing Lonely"

    This poem focuses on the idea that "the grass is always greener on the other side." The tree became a person who searched for his alter-ego. He was an average pine tree who was "dreaming of a palm tree (5)." Heine gave this tree a human mind, making the poem romantic. The poem, also provides the idea that there is always someone or something where you want to be, but that thing wants to be where you are. In this way, Heine proved that humans should make the best of their situation, because there is always someone who wants to be in your shoes. This idea is supported in the quote "Far away in the Eastern land/ Lonely and silently mourning (6-7)." This means that while the pine tree dreamed of being a palm tree, that palm tree was unhappy being "On a sunburnt rocky strand (8)." The pine tree wanted what the palm tree hated, and probably vice versa.

    I like how Heine used personification to express his idea. Instead of using an ordinary human to convey his thought, he used a tree. To me, this is very innovative and interesting. By giving human emotions and actions, such as "sleep (3)," "dreaming (4)," and "lonely and silently mourning (6)" to the trees, it gives the poem its main romantic component.

  51. A Young Man Loves a Maiden
    There are no truer words than those describing that"old, old story, / Yet still forever new" (9-10). This poem demonstrates a focus on the individual, and, in spite of its brevity, is quite powerful in that. Within those twelve short lines, a young man, a maiden, the maiden's true love, another girl, a man whom the maiden marries, and the reader all become characters.
    Despite not focusing on nature nor naturalistic gods, there is a sense of chaos characteristic to Romanticism present as well as the strong emotions of love and heart break.
    Ultimately, I find myself rather enamoured of the succinct honesty of this poem. I am guilty of transporting myself into a role of the tale, but I believe that is to be expected, as the "old, old story" is one that will come to us all (9), eventually.

  52. A Young Man Loves a Maiden

    I was initially taken aback by this poem when I noticed how simple the phrasing and diction of the stanzas was. Heine makes each individual stanza into its own explanatory "morsel" that encases the maladies of love and desire in a few short, sweet sentences. He explains the ideas behind "romantic conflict" with phrases like "...Yet still forever new...It breaks the heart in two" and "The other one loves another." The catchy rhyme scheme proves this poem to be blatantly romantic. The rhyming also creates for a sticky, almost melodic undertone to the poem that sparks romantic language beyond the words on the page.
    Nature may be absent from this poem, but again, the rhyme scheme displays fully the exaltation of the poet's creativity, which is one of the pillars of Romanticism itself. I think that this poem can be a staple in Romantic Literature.

  53. A Pine is Standing Lonely-Heine

    Heine incorporates the romantic idea of nature by composing his poem about two trees. The trees are symbolic of people who are lonely and either choose not to be around other people or just are shunned by society, an unnatural condition within social human culture. Heine also makes this poem romantic by focusing on two specific trees as opposed to a whole forest of trees, adding to the loneliness and small scale of the situation. Additionally, Heine associates the human mood of loneliness and want with two trees, in order to show how humans always want to be in the opposite circumstance no matter what. Heine shows the reader that people are never content, and thinks that humanity would be much better if everyone would be happy with what they have. The pine would be happier "on a sunburnt rocky strand," even though it would be just as miserable and lonely there. It is unnatural for people to be by themselves, so loneliness drives humans together to survive. Now it is no longer a survival instinct, but it still affects our lives.
    Neither tree is happy because they are both thinking about what would happen if something insignificantly different happened, such as if they grew in a different climate. Heine wants the reader to stop living in the past and accept the present as an opportunity to better one's life. Heine takes a very optimistic enlightenment perspective as he asserts men should find the good in every situation, because everything will work out for the best.

  54. A Young Man Loves a Maiden

    This poem does not have as many blatant references to nature as some of the other poems do, but elements of Romanticism are still present. The ideal of youth and innocence are mentioned throughout the poem, though it is not clear in the end if age is necessarily negative or positive. The young man and the maiden who begin the story both have the innocence of believing in love and not realizing that their love is not returned. They do not know the perils of giving your heart completely to another and expecting something in return.
    In the second stanza the innocence is corrupted by age and one can observe the perils of growing older and gaining knowledge of the ways of the world. The line about growing bitter and wise presents an interesting paradox. Bitter is generally a negative term, while growing wise is generally considered to be a positive thing. In this case, it appears that, as in the story of Adam and Eve, along with wisdom comes the corruption of innocence and purity.
    The third stanza again emphasizes the negative outcome of the events previously mentioned and by referencing the words "old" and "new" is using qualities of Romanticism and rebelling against the idea that the status quo should be kept: "every time it happens" (11). It points out what happens when society follows the normal patterns, and yearns for the simplicity of long ago.

  55. A Young Man Loves a Maiden

    When I read this poem, I feel an instant, personal connection, not because of experience but because Heine's characters are individuals. Not specific individuals - none of them have names or other identifying characteristics - but that makes it even more personal. Since he does not identify anyone, he could be writing about anyone, including the reader.

    The end of the poem is the best part. Heine recognizes it as a common (almost popular?) story line, but warns against that it will "break the heart in two." It is almost a cautious piece of advice, that one should not marry simply because of one's own preferences.

  56. Emily Wright

    "A Young Man Loves A Maiden"

    In a dozen short but sweet lines, Heine delves into Romanticism by exploring the human nature. The situation he describes for the reader is simple, yet rife with emotion. Heine says this is an "old, old story". Indeed, the story of heartbreak is timeless. Loss and suffering are inevitable parts of humanity. Heine's open and uncomplicated words have me feeling as thought I am part of the poem, experiencing the same pain the characters are going through.

  57. In this poem, Heine presents two opposing yet similar landscapes. Both are extremes and both the rocky, hot desert and the snowy plateau are empty of life. Within this emptiness, the "lonely" pine and palm trees are explored. They go beyond just the physical aspects, especially for the pine, and are personified. When the pine "dreams of a palm tree," it shows a depth that is usually only found in humans. By creating this depth, it allows humans to connect with nature. Many people often find themselves confronted with the same problem as the pine tree, that is desire for some unattainable object or person. Because Heine uses trees instead of humans, it connects love and nature, two Romantic concepts, together.

  58. A Pine is Standing Lonley

    This poem is about the symbol of a lone pine tree as a representation of loneliness. Heine, writes of the tree as though it is a person, wishing it were someone else. Though he says that the tree wishes it were a palm tree, he says that the palm tree is also lonely. The pine doesn't wish it wasn't lonely, just that it were somewhere warmer, and something else.
    This poem obviously uses the romantic concept of moods and feelings of nature, and I thought it was interesting. No one would really even think of a lone pine tree, it is a subject that doesn't really occur to many people.

  59. Heinrich Heine-"A Young Man Loves a Maiden"

    By composing a poem about the complexity of love, Heine addresses a familiar aspect of nature. He is able to do this using relatively simple diction, writing, “A young man loves a maiden / But another she prefers, / The other one loves another / And ties the knot with her.” Heine intensifies the sympathy felt for three of these characters by making the situation, however ironic, strikingly simple.
    Like Keats, Heine emphasizes the perpetuity of the simple elements of nature (in this case love) by writing, “It is an old, old story, / Yet still forever new; / And every time it happens, / It breaks the heart in two.” Also, Heine suggests that the nature of human beings is immutable, and that the implications of this will always be the same.
    Strangely, this poem and A Pine is Standing Lonely both focus on that which an individual cannot have. In A Pine is Standing Lonely, the pine pines for the palm tree on the beach. Clearly, the same applies to this poem, wherein the first two people introduced long for someone else.

    Alex Greaves

  60. A Young Man Loves a Woman-Heinrich Heine

    The most Romantic aspect of this poem is the speaker's emphasis on the individual's reaction toward what may seem a clichéd love story. Even though the speaker admits that the same situation has been repeated hundreds of times: "It is an old, old story", he claims that the individual lovers are always important. Though the young man and woman in the poem make be participating in an commonplace story, for the poet this does not decrease the merit of their feelings. The poet places great value in each person involved in the love story, even if the story is cliché. This exalting of the individual, and the recognition that the individuals feelings are always important ("And every time it happens, / It breaks the heart in two") is trademark of the Romantic period.