A major poet in the era of German Romanticism, he visited and wrote about St. Anne Catherine Emmerich. His story is as interesting as hers.
First, let me say something about Wikipedia. People who read my blog will figure out quickly that I am a traditional Catholic and thus dismiss whatever I have to say. Any responsible blogger has many resources, and like my student, Alexander, I can’t write down thoughts fast enough. Mistakes follow. One way I counter bias is to use non-Catholic sources, such as Wikipedia.
Here is what the online encyclopedia says about itself:
“The English Wikipedia currently has 46,892,746 users who have registered a username. Only a minority of users contribute regularly (126,693 have edited in the last 30 days), and only a minority of those contributors participate in community discussions.
“An unknown but relatively large number of unregistered Wikipedians also contribute to the site. As of 2012, most logged-in editors had edited as unregistered Wikipedians before registering their accounts.”
Wikipedia also uses government sources.
From The Creative Independent: “Wikipedia borrows its content and credibility from external editorial bodies, and thus, in order to have information available for a whole page….”
Back to Clemens. You can read Anne’s or Clemens’s biography, or both, but I’m going to pull out some quotes I liked.
“The poet Clemens Brentano interviewed her at length and wrote two books based on his notes of her visions. The authenticity of Brentano’s writings has been questioned and critics have characterized the books as ‘conscious elaborations by a poet.’
“Pope John Paul II beatified Emmerich on 3 October 2004. However, the Vatican focused on her own personal piety rather than the religious writings associated to her by Clemens Brentano.”
“In 1818, weary of his somewhat restless and unsettled life, he returned to the practice of the Catholic faith and withdrew to the monastery of Dülmen, where he lived for some years in strict seclusion. He took on there the position of secretary to the Catholic visionary nun…Emmerich.”
“Richard Strauss set six poems by Brentano in Sechs Lieder, Op. 68, in 1918, which are also known as his Brentano Lieder.
“Brentano’s work is referenced in Thomas Mann’s novel Doctor Faustus. A cycle of thirteen songs, based on Brentano’s poems, is noted in Chapter XXI as one of the composer protagonist’s most significant early works.”
Comment: So, what if he exaggerated? Everyone knows poetry is not literal. Take the Bible. C’mon. I seldom answer why questions, but I’m going to try this one. Some people never experienced Mama reading poetry to them. Anyone who cooks for me or reads to me moves up the scale.
Notes about Wikipedia as a source
Unus: The data shows how thorough the Catholic Church is about certifying sources.
Duo: I frequently go for the enormous collection, and all the copyright data is at hand.
Tres: I eliminate citation numbers because they are cumbersome.
title: Clemens Brentano//painter: Emilie Linder//date: c. 1837