Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 114 in 2007.
Nazi thinkers claimed his blessing, but Herr Nietzsche's life was clean.
Walter Kaufmann spied injustice—such a cause for strife was clean.
Nietzsche's war years saw no fighting—his flawed eyes were far too weak.
He attended wounds from gunshots; he made sure the knife was clean.
Dionysus met Apollo in Die Geburt der Tragödie.
—the aesthetic words were soiled, while the lure of fife was clean.
Europe needs its brightest thinkers—no one race builds ancient Greece.
Der Übermensch was not a Hitler; latent strength so rife was clean.
Friedrich's school days saw no wenching, still his life proved short and sweet
—his syphilis was his parents', being void of wife was clean.