Rachel A, a big fan of song cycles in general--especially Dichterliebe--introduced it to me the first time we hung out.
We sat on her floor on Bass street and read some of the Heine text.
Und sah die Nacht in deines Herzens Raum,
Und sah die Schlang', die dir am Herzen frißt,
Ich sah, mein Lieb, wie sehr du elend bist.
And saw the night in your heart's room,
And saw the viper that feeds on your heart;
I saw, my love, how truly miserable you are.
What an image!
I love the literal translation of the German, there's something
so much more raw about a language whose word for meat is
'fleisch'--literally flesh. I'll liken it to the choice between
"shacking up" and "cohabiting".
The way she spit out those words, it was obvious that the passage
had been seared into her mind. Now I know how she felt.