Wednesday, February 3, 2021



My edition of Concert (Konzert in German)

has for its front cover, naturally, one of Franz Marc's

wondrous postcard paintings which the artist sent to

Lasker-Schuler almost monthly over the years 1912-14.

Marc would perish in WW I at Verdun as a soldier in 1916,

one year after another of the author's associates,

the poet Georg Trakl, took his life after the horrendous

battle of Grodek. Misery traveled with Else Lasker-Schuler

whether the death of her beloved mother and brother Paul, and even her

only child, also Paul, from an ill-fated marriage, and still in

Concert we receive a dulcet style of stories, essays, dream-state

vignettes. It was one of the last books published by a Jew before

the rise of the Third Reich. Lasker-Schuler was out of Germany before

Hitler clearly showed his face, and wandering, wandering, eventually settling

elderly and unevenly in Palestine, struggling with the language and never

quite coming to terms with where she was and the Palestine of her dreams.

She would die of heart failure in 1945 after publishing her last book of

poems, My Blue Piano (Mein Blaues Klavier). In 1952

Gottfried Benn declared Lasker-Schuler "the greatest

poetess Germany ever had."

Poetry sails through her prose.

[ BA ]