Angina Days: Selected Poems by Günter Eich

By Günter Eich

This can be the main accomplished English translation of the paintings of Günter Eich, one of many maximum postwar German poets. the writer of the POW poem "Inventory," between essentially the most recognized lyrics within the German language, Eich used to be rivaled merely through Paul Celan because the top poet within the new release after Gottfried Benn and Bertolt Brecht. Expertly translated and brought by way 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 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) used to be 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 sickness. "To my mind," Hofmann writes, "there's anything in Eich of Paul Klee's photographs: either are home made, modest in scale, instantly pleasant, creative, cogent."

Unjustly overlooked in English, Eich reveals his perfect translator the following.

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I cannot talk,’ she says when staring down her husband’s eyes. ❧ He holds the spoon as tightly as a vice then lets it gently down into a cup, the blue-white porcelain as fine as light, Dresden-made a hundred years ago. Katherine stands near, afraid to raise the deep of his emotion, that shudders now like an explosion’s aftermath. He asks for the milk jug from the humming fridge, and smiles tightly. She hands the jug to him in which there is a small half-inch of cream. ❧ 23 I hold my anger back; fear sees anger build until my shouting clears me; and then I watch it build— and all for nothing; all for loss of twenty years of work that’s so much dirt— I cannot judge its worth.

Red, who’s spotted like a calf dawdles, looks like he might die, then rubs himself on me, and whines and finds a stick he’d have me throw. I pick it up and run with it. ❧ 51 Straggle of creeper climbing the eucalypt, tangle of grass and weed. She piles clothes, shakes her towel, and bathes in shaded sun as she has done for years, on this same ground— while all her younger selves seem gathered here, lying near her, chewing stalks of grass, whispering to her of who she is, shadows and precursors of herself, old longings and old habits in their dress.

Pale death has washed this coloured hope as white as river quartz. ’ Katrine Hill, I call the stretch of rising land where we’d search for stones; where we’d hide-and-seek; where a steady rain would make small rivulets that ran towards a homestead she’d built from mud and sticks. So much for that—both dust and time itself have choked our foolish innocence. ❧ 54 The old plum tree’s entangled with twigs and purple leaves; skeleton weed surrounds it; the meagre fruit were small that we have mostly stewed.

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