Heinrich Heine
Christian Johann Heinrich Heine (13 December 1797 – 17 February 1856) was one of the most significant German
German literature
German literature comprises those literary texts written in the German language. This includes literature written in Germany, Austria, the German part of Switzerland, and to a lesser extent works of the German diaspora. German literature of the modern period is mostly in Standard German, but there...

A poet is a person who writes poetry. A poet's work can be literal, meaning that his work is derived from a specific event, or metaphorical, meaning that his work can take on many meanings and forms. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary...

s of the 19th century. He was also a journalist
A journalist collects and distributes news and other information. A journalist's work is referred to as journalism.A reporter is a type of journalist who researchs, writes, and reports on information to be presented in mass media, including print media , electronic media , and digital media A...

, essay
An essay is a piece of writing which is often written from an author's personal point of view. Essays can consist of a number of elements, including: literary criticism, political manifestos, learned arguments, observations of daily life, recollections, and reflections of the author. The definition...

ist, and literary critic
Literary criticism
Literary criticism is the study, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. Modern literary criticism is often informed by literary theory, which is the philosophical discussion of its methods and goals...

. He is best known outside Germany for his early lyric poetry
Lyric poetry
Lyric poetry is a genre of poetry that expresses personal and emotional feelings. In the ancient world, lyric poems were those which were sung to the lyre. Lyric poems do not have to rhyme, and today do not need to be set to music or a beat...

, which was set to music in the form of Lied
is a German word literally meaning "song", usually used to describe romantic songs setting German poems of reasonably high literary aspirations, especially during the nineteenth century, beginning with Carl Loewe, Heinrich Marschner, and Franz Schubert and culminating with Hugo Wolf...

er (art songs) by composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

s such as Robert Schumann
Robert Schumann
Robert Schumann, sometimes known as Robert Alexander Schumann, was a German composer, aesthete and influential music critic. He is regarded as one of the greatest and most representative composers of the Romantic era....

 and Franz Schubert
Franz Schubert
Franz Peter Schubert was an Austrian composer.Although he died at an early age, Schubert was tremendously prolific. He wrote some 600 Lieder, nine symphonies , liturgical music, operas, some incidental music, and a large body of chamber and solo piano music...

. Heine's later verse and prose is distinguished by its satirical wit and irony. His radical political views led to many of his works being banned by German authorities.

Out of my own great woeI make my little songs.

Aus Meinen Grossen Schmerzen (Out of My Great Woe), st. 1

Ich weiss nicht, was soll es bedeuten,Dass ich so traurig bin;Ein Märchen aus alten Zeiten,Das kommt mir nicht aus dem Sinn.

I cannot explain the sadnessThat's fallen on my breast.An old, old fable haunts me,And will not let me rest.

Du bist wie eine Blume,So hold und schön und rein;Ich schau dich an, und WehmutSchleicht mir ins Herz hinein.

You're lovely as a flower,So pure and fair to see;I look at you, and sadnessComes stealing over me.

At first I was almost about to despair, I thought I never could bear it — but I did I bear it. The question remains: how?

An Karl von U.

Dort wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man auch am Ende Menschen.

Where they burn books, at the end they also burn people.

Every woman is the gift of a world to me.

Ideas: The Book Le Grand (1826)

Don't send a poet to London.

English Fragments (1828), Ch. 2 : London

Christianity is an idea, and as such is indestructible and immortal, like every idea.

History of Religion and Philosophy in Germany, Vol. I (1834)