World Literature

Angina Days: Selected Poems by Gunter Eich, Michael Hofmann, Michael Hofmann

By Gunter Eich, Michael Hofmann, Michael Hofmann

This is the main complete English translation of the paintings of Günter Eich, one of many maximum postwar German poets. the writer of the POW poem ''Inventory,'' between probably the most well-known lyrics within the German language, Eich used to be rivaled in simple terms via Paul Celan because the top poet within the iteration after Gottfried Benn and Bertolt Brecht. Expertly translated and brought through 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 contains 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 during which the ominousness of fairy stories meets the delicacy and suggestiveness of a ways jap poetry. In his past due poems, he writes usually, movingly, and sometimes wryly of illness and disease. ''To my mind,'' Hofmann writes, ''there's whatever in Eich of Paul Klee's photos: either are selfmade, modest in scale, instantly pleasant, artistic, cogent.''

Unjustly missed in English, Eich unearths his perfect translator here.

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Extra info for Angina Days: Selected Poems

Example text

A crack in the bridge rail, he says. A sticking-plaster job, he says, to throw us off the scent, because illnesses are doing the rounds in the world’s wiring. Phone lines and cables pass them on: syphilis, tuberculosis, cancer, leukemia— illnesses one wouldn’t have expected in metal. They were diagnosed too late. But how could we have prevented them? Perhaps there is some purpose in it. It might be that the whole of existence is being reordered. They begin by taking from us our diseases. Everything else by and by.

9 Dies ist mein Notizbuch, dies meine Zeltbahn, dies ist mein Handtuch, dies ist mein Zwirn. 10 This is my notebook, this my canvas, my towel, my thread. 11 E R S T E R J A N UA R Nur ein Kalender spricht morgens vom neuen Jahre, die Wände wissen, daß nichts Neues beginnt. Draußen die Wolken flattern wie immer so leicht wie Haare, und an die Fenster greift mit denselben Händen der Wind. März und April wird kommen, und später füllt dich ein Tag mit ewigen Stunden aus, fällt mit Himmel und mit geblähter Wolke in deine Hände und in dein Haus.

Was tun wir, da niemand mehr lebt von denen, die mit ihr umzugehen wußten? Wer mit dem Entsetzlichen gut Freund ist, kann seinen Besuch in Ruhe erwarten. Wir richten uns immer wieder auf das Glück ein, aber es sitzt nicht gern auf unseren Sesseln. Betrachtet die Fingerspitzen! Wenn sie sich schwarz färben, ist es zu spät. 38 EX AMINE YOUR FINGERTIPS Examine your fingertips for signs of discoloration! One day it will be back, the supposedly eradicated contagion. The postman will drop it in the rattling letterbox along with the circulars, it will fetch up on your plate with a portion of herring, the breastfeeding mother will give it to her babe.

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