Friday, January 20, 2017

GUNTER GRASS ~ XENOPHOBIA ~







Xenophobia




As millions of displaced persons

with little lullage,

burdened by memory,

were forcibly resettled

in what remained of the fatherland,

many of the locals, feeling cramped

by their arrival, shouted:

Go back where you came from!

But they stayed, as did

the well-worn cry: Go, get out!

Soon it was aimed at foreigners

who came later, and later still

from far away,

speaking in strange tongues;

they too remained,

settled down, and multiplied.

Only when the natives

began to feel foreign too

did they also begin to see,

in all those foreigners

who'd slowly learned

to bear their foreignness,

their own selves,

and start to live with them.



______________________

GUNTER GRASS
Of All That Ends
translated by Breon Mitchell
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
2016








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