Featured Poem

An Account of Despair

When she entered
And set down her empty bags on my tabletops
I felt caught out in my
Missed deeds.

The evening news dripped bloodily from the screen
And the bed stood encircled
Aside in the uninhabited zone.

She approached and embraced me
At once as though she could not be wrong

And fastened shut the door
With a black twine that had no end
And took the pictures from the wall, but there was worse:
She took the pictures out of the windows

And stopped dead in their tracks
My other friends
With her voice on the breeze
Of birds torn all to pieces.

I saw there was no arguing with this woman
She is right
Like a ruling
ONCE AND FOR ALL.

I saw all the things she held in her hands
And rose quietly like a planet that does not belong
And vanishes from the screen.

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» Read notes
About the translation:
» Read translator's notes
Poet:
Volker Braun
Translator:
David Constantine
Original language:
German
Issue:
Series 3 No. 2 - Diaspora

About the author

Volker Braun

Original poet

Volker Braun

Volker Braun was born in Dresden in 1939. Between school and university – a period extended by the authorities to punish him f...

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David Constantine

Translator

David Constantine

David Constantine was born in Salford in 1944. For thirty years he taught German at the Universities of Durham and Oxford. He...

» Read more

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