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I haven’t eaten for seven days
And shot a man right in the face.
When I scratch, the bright blood runs.
I’ll soon be turning twenty-one.

When I’m drunk, I’ll plant my fist
In those pasty faces. Rage is my hymn.
Lice and fleas eat from my shins.
My stubble sprouts like garden cress.

And so I take my seed in my hand –
Europe’s future, black-specked spawn;
A god drowns in a sludge-filled pond! –
And shit my legacy on the wall.

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About the translation:
Carl Zuckmayer
David Colmer
Original language:
2014 Number 3 - The Singing of the Scythe

About the author

Original poet

Carl Zuckmayer

CARL ZUCKMAYER (1896–1977) was an originally German writer and playwright, whose early successes included the film adaptation...

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David Colmer

David Colmer translates Dutch literature. He has won a number of translation prizes, including the PEN Translation Prize for h...

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