Little Germany

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Little Germany

Hannelora Helmholtz-Hertzsprung,
Eight syllables of Sturm and Drang
That trip along a Teuton tongue
With a click of the heels from brother Wolfgang.
If only Wolf and Hanni knew
The Eidelweiss and Extrawurst,
But they was born at Twenty-Two The Laurels –
Accringthorpe-by-Hurst.

Helmholtz-Hertzsprung – what a surname !
H times three and twice Tee-Zed –
They’re triply stung, as if to claim
An extra ‘Von’, or else ‘The Red’.
Her parents gave them the kind of name
That only folks in stories give.
What chance have they of meek and tame
With such a name with which to live ?

They wonder at their German roots,
Though mum’s their mum and not their Mutti.
And their father’s never worn Prussian boots,
And when they asks, he shrugs why should he ?
Of the language, they speak no word,
And their accents sounds less Saar, more Scouse.
So why share names with a yodelling goatherd
As if they’d been raised in a gingerbread house ?

Helmholtz sounds like a planetary ship,
While Hertzsprung, like a clockwork core –
Or else a springbok, skittish to skip –
The poor, poor dears !, emburdened with lore.
Their parents gave them the kind of name
That only elves and heroes get –
But theirs it is, to shun or claim…
Could Deutschland be über Alles yet…?

Hannelora Helmholtz-Hertzsprung –
The name of a nuclear engineer –
With phonemes thoroughly washed and wrung
To perfectly balance the German ear.
How can she live with so much hype ?,
Precision-polished for wide acclaim.
And yes, she knows that’s a stereotype,
But verdammt !, so is her whole damn name !

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