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

By Gunter Eich, Michael Hofmann, Michael Hofmann

This is the main finished English translation of the paintings of Günter Eich, one of many maximum postwar German poets. the writer of the POW poem ''Inventory,'' between some of the most well-known lyrics within the German language, Eich was once rivaled simply by way of Paul Celan because the top poet within the new release after Gottfried Benn and Bertolt Brecht. Expertly translated and brought by means 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) used to be on the leading edge 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 some distance jap poetry. In his past due poems, he writes usually, movingly, and sometimes wryly of disease and sickness. ''To my mind,'' Hofmann writes, ''there's anything in Eich of Paul Klee's images: either are do-it-yourself, modest in scale, instantly pleasant, creative, cogent.''

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

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Mein Alter will ich in der grünen Dämmerung des Weins verbringen, ohne Gespräch. Die Zinnteller knistern. Beug dich über den Tisch! Im Schatten vergilbt die Karte von Portugal. 40 FROM A LETTER I shan’t read any of the books. I recall the tree-trunks swaddled in straw, the unburned tiles on the shelves. Pictures go and the pain remains. I want to spend my late years without speech, in the green half-light of wine. Tin plates clink. Lean forward! That’s the wall map of Portugal yellowing in the shade.

Später das andere. 24 M I N O R R E PA I R Minor repair: carbide flame. A single workman is enough. 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.

8 I N V E N TORY This is my cap, my coat, my shaving kit in the burlap bag. This tin can: my plate and my cup, I scratched my name in the soft metal. Scratched it with this precious nail, which I keep out of sight of thieving eyes. In my bread bag is a pair of woollen socks and some other things I don’t tell anyone about, it serves me as a pillow for my head at night. This piece of card I lay between my body and the ground. The pencil lead is my favorite: by day it writes out lines that come to me at night.

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