By Günter Eich
This can be the main entire English translation of the paintings of Günter Eich, one of many maximum postwar German poets. the writer of the POW poem "Inventory," between essentially the most well-known lyrics within the German language, Eich used to be rivaled merely by means of Paul Celan because the best poet within the new release after Gottfried Benn and Bertolt Brecht. Expertly translated and brought by way of Michael Hofmann, this assortment gathers 80 poems, many drawn from Eich's later paintings and such a lot of them translated the following for the 1st time. the amount additionally comprises the unique German texts on dealing with pages.
As an early member of "Gruppe 47" (from which Günter Grass and Heinrich Böll later shot to prominence), Eich (1907-72) was once on the forefront of an attempt to revive German as a language for poetry after the vitriol, propaganda, and lies of the 3rd Reich. brief and transparent, those are undying poems within which the ominousness of fairy stories meets the delicacy and suggestiveness of a ways jap poetry. In his overdue poems, he writes often, movingly, and infrequently wryly of disease and sickness. "To my mind," Hofmann writes, "there's whatever in Eich of Paul Klee's images: either are home made, modest in scale, instantly pleasant, creative, cogent."
Unjustly overlooked in English, Eich unearths his perfect translator right here.
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The gasoline line is leaking, the fowl is long gone from the
cage, the skyline is dotted with vultures;
Benny eventually acquired off the stuff and Betty now has a job
as a waitress; and
the chimney sweep used to be particularly smooth as he
giggled up via the
I walked miles during the urban and recognized
not anything as an enormous claw ate at my
abdominal whereas the interior of my head felt
ethereal as though i used to be approximately to go
it's no longer loads that not anything means
something yet extra that it retains meaning
there's no unencumber, simply professionals and self-
appointed gods and hucksters.
the extra humans say, the fewer there's to say.
even the easiest books are dry sawdust.
—from "fingernails; nostrils; shoelaces"
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Extra resources for Angina Days: Selected Poems
How she longs to see herself discovered by his fleet, mirroring scalpel! In the dark she swoons with love, turns ripe, too ripe, implacably sweet. 55 Exile For some years now I’ve lived in Exile: long enough to pass for native if there were any natives here, which there are not. The sand in Exile falls like rain. It fills my glass, the kind of sand that stands for time, the kind of like that means instead. Each of us says his evening prayers to the star above a different town. We couple, yes, but always it’s with someone else and long ago.
Startled, he moves backward, away from the INVENTION; now, you hear how their songs overlap, hers in harmony with the INVENTION, his alone and at odds: SP. —a-five, a-six, a-seven, eight, we’ll never be lost, we’ll never be late— REP. —my eyes—I don’t—such doubts about —believe—my doubts about—my eyes— Now the REPORTER stumbles to his feet as she sings, and moves toward her, taking her hands in his, to plead, or to pull her away; she resists, and raises her arms— perhaps this is a moment for an intermission?
At last, behind him, the REPORTER enters, scribbling deliberately on a stenographer’s pad. He sings, and writes down his song as he sings it, or perhaps sings it off the page as he writes it, in a rhythmless, documentary plainchant. He does not look up as he walks downstage. REP. —an unconfirmed rumor has it— an unnamed source—a little bird— as someone—wind of which—was heard— alleged invention—said to make— purportedly—the eyeteeth ache— the blood to turn—harmonically— back in its round—arresting sound— alleged inventor—mere hearsay— impossible, say some—to play— nonsense—it plays itself—some say— By now he is standing next to the INVENTOR.