At a more sophisticated level, Dick Davis describes a similar reevaluation of the past and acceptance of the present. “Brahms” is among the new poems included in Love in Another Language; Collected Poems and Selected Translations (Carcanet, 2017):
“Young Brahms played piano in a brothel parlour:
He watched the beery patrons go upstairs
And said, “Non olet,” pocketing his thaler,
But something nasty caught him unawares.
He never made it with a girl it seems;
His love was Clara Schumann, who had far
Too much to cope with to indulge his dreams—
Mad Robert flared out like a shooting star.
“I couldn’t take to Brahms when I was young—
Too sentimental, learnèd, ponderous,
I thought. Now that I find I live among
Such damning adjectives myself, I’m less
Inclined to carp, and if the cap fits wear it;
Let’s hear your heartache, Brahms; yes, I can bear it.”