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Richard Strauss wrote 'Metamorphosen' after the end of the Second World War, when he was well in his eighties. It's a sort of variations on a theme in reverse - in other words, it ENDS with the theme - taken from Beethoven's Third Symphony. I read this as his attempt to get back to an older Germany, not sullied and dishonoured by Hitler - an attempt I think he knew was futile at that point. One day, perhaps.

The poem pays tribute to him, and to beautiful Bavaria.


Screen_shot_2017-12-05_at_08.50.24by Patrick Howse03 Nov 2013

Browning horse chestnuts
Cast dappled shadows
On wooden tables.

Beautiful women cycle
To drink beer
From litre glasses;

Men in lederhosen
Embrace traditions older
Than their grandfathers;

Richard Strauss vainly
Yearns to restore
What they've lost.