Damn His Handsome Hide!

Curse your eyes, WMFH! Curse you for planting the seed of going to university after the school year is over. I had pretty much given up any hope of a higher education due to my being a complete prosimian when it comes to math, and now I am shopping the local U’s catalog and saying, “Ooooh! 19th century German literature!? German phonics?? Fluency Through Dramatization?!? I WANT TO GO TO THERE.” Wait, I can also take Western Mythology? Latin? Lignuistics? Russian? But.. but… but…

Damn it, damn it, damn it. I can’t afford this! But I would LOVE to actually achieve some level of fluency in German, not to mention supplement and enhance my ADF studies.

Because I want to avoid moments like this.

“Wer reitet so spät durch Nacht und Wind?”

Yesterday was my German final, and rather than being relieved I just feel a little bummed. We reconvene after the first of the year (and I am also taking my German instructor’s music appreciation class, which I am SUPER STOKED about), but I am enjoying going to school, so the idea of being stuck at home for 3 weeks with nothing but a massive pile of 800 year old reading and mythology analysis to do makes me groan like a teenager being asked to clean her room. That, and the fact that I won’t get to give the ol’ swoony moon-eyes to my totally pounce-worthy German teacher that whole time. The guy is the World’s Most Fuckable Hobbit. Seriously, he makes me twitterpated hardcore. I want to put that man in my mouth like a toddler with a shiny object… er, um, sorry. I digress.

I have decided to try and keep my German skills from atrophying during the break by memorizing poetry. Poetry has always had a strange place in my world. As I have mentioned, my mother would read us poetry almost every evening, either before bed or after dinner. She would read us Tennyson, Longfellow, Keats, Yeats, Poe, Shelley, Byron, Rossetti, Wordsworth, and Coleridge. My sister and I would sit with rapt attention as she would give us dramatic and intense recitations of the English Romantics and High Victorian verse, many of which I can still recite today. This seeded my love and appreciation for language and formed my world view in innumerable ways, and it is one of the few truly fond memories I have of my mother from my childhood. Poetry helps associate strong emotion with the words you are learning, it gives you a sense of rhythm and timing, and is a great way to learn how a language is meant to be felt and experienced. I tend to be less entranced with modern poetry, for the most part I find a lot of it forced and cynical, lacking any real attempt to connect the reader with the passions and vulnerability of the writer.

I have 3 weeks. I intend on memorizing 3 poems. First up is “Erlkönig” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The other two I am considering are Friedrich Schiller’s “Ode an die Freude” (mostly because it is more or less the lyrics to Beethoven’s 9th Symphony- and who doesn’t want to be able to bust THAT out at parties. Well, I guess it depends on what kind parties you go to. I go to nerdy parties), and Friedrich Hölderlin’s “Mnemosyne“, because I like it. Both of those are rather long, so I may need to scale back my ambitions. We shall see as the break progresses…

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