Wednesday, August 10, 2016

GOTTFRIED BENN ~









S T I L L     L I F E




When everything lies there in fallen heaps

thoughts, moods, duets

— lies there despoiled

without tinfoil — and the scraped membrane

— all the layers washed away —

of the bloody conjunctiva stares into silence —

what's left?



The sixty-four-thousand-dollar-question! But who in his senses

asks it anymore —

Renaissance reminiscences,

Baroque overlay,

castle museums —

an end to drilling,

but still no groundwater,

the wells dark,

the styles exhausted —

time has acquired a stillness,

the hour breathes

over a wine jug,

it's late, the last blows have been traded,

a clinch and a hang on the ropes

before the bell — I give the world

to anyone who wants it, let them be happy:



the jester's not to turn serious

the drinker's not to wander into the Gobi Desert

even a lady with a lorgnette

entertains aspirations to happiness

well, good luck to her —



the lake rests at ease

rimmed with forget-me-nots,

adders laugh.


                                                             (1949-1955)
—————————————


Gottfried Benn
I M P R O M P T U S
Selected poems and some prose
translated by Michael Hofmann
Farrar 2015





NEVER HEARD OF GOTTFRIED BENN?







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