poetry

The Frank­furt area has long been a cru­cible of uni­ver­sally acclaimed poetry. Goethe was born in Frank­furt in 1749, Jacob and Wil­helm Grimm were born in Hanau in 1785/86. The Roman­ti­cists and sib­lings Clemens and Bet­tina Brentano often stayed at the Trages Manor near Gelnhausen where, in 1833, Clemens wrote the fairy tale “Gockel, Hinkel und Gack­eleia”. The tale begins: “In Ger­many, down by the sav­age for­est between Gelnhausen and Hanau, there once lived a hon­ourable, elderly man (…)” *.  The Brentanos­traße in Gelnhausen is close to where Hans Jakob Christof­fel von Grim­melshausen was born in 1621 or 22. Grimmelshausen’s famous “Der Aben­teuer­liche Sim­pli­cis­simus Teutsch”, the first Ger­man Baroque novel, has the sub­ti­tle: “The life of an odd vagrant named Mel­chior Stern­fels von Fuchsheim: namely where and in what man­ner he came into this world, what he saw, learned, expe­ri­enced, and endured therein; also why he again left it of his own free will.” Thomas Kling (1952–2005), with­out doubt the most sig­nif­i­cant poet and con­nois­seur of Ger­man poetry of his gen­er­a­tion and an acknowl­edged Grim­melshausen spe­cial­ist, pub­licly recited from the Sim­pli­cis­simus when formalhaut’s instal­la­tion “bye-bye Kuh­gasse / re-in-carnation” cel­e­brated farewell to the old No.15 Kuh­gasse house, the future site of liv­ing room. Kling addressed the cel­e­bra­tion with his poem “the house is the mouth cave”, which he exclu­sively ded­i­cated to the new build­ing, and lat­terly included as part of its orna­ment.
*„In Deutsch­land in einem wilden Wald, zwis­chen Gelnhausen und Hanau, lebte ein ehren­fester bejahrter Mann […]“