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Gerentology or when you get old

My wife and I,
we often sit on a bench
outside the city and gaze.
Our canes
at our sides.

A flower quivers in the grass.
A snail wanders across the path.
And ants crawl up the tree.

The wind is blowing a little,
and it is very quiet.

But the other day
a tiny airplane landed.
It was just small enough
to hold in one’s hand.
It rumbled a bit and came to a stop.
A toy gnome got out
and asked us
the way to Honolulu.
But we didn’t know.
So the gnome got back in
and flew off
straight up into the sky from where he came.

If we
were to tell our neighbours,
they’d think we had lost it.
And we won’t tell our doctor either,
definitely not him.
At most we’ll say:

A flower quivered in the grass.
A snail wandered across the path.
And ants crawled up the tree.


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About the translation:
Poet:
Heinz Ehemann
Translator:
Shon Arieh-Lerer
Original language:
Franconian dialect
Issue:
Series 3 No.11 - Frontiers

Original poem

About the authors

Poet

Heinz Ehemann

Heinz Ehemann was born in Nuremberg and lives in Erlangen. He is a prize-winning poet and painter who writes both in standard...

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Translator

Shon Arieh-Lerer

Shon Arieh-Lerer's poems, translations, and reviews have appeared in magazines such as Circumference, Beloit Poetry Journal, C...

» Read more

Gerentology or when you get old (Gerontologie odder wennsd ald bisd)

Mei Frau und iich,
mir hoggng öfder aff anner Bängg
vur der Schdadt und schauer.
Unsere Schdeeggng
hommer neber uns hiiglahnd.

A Blimmler waggld im Groos.
A Schneggng läffd übern Weech.
Und Omassn grabbln am Baum naaf.

Der Wind wehd a bißler
und es is ganz leis.

Obber neili
is aff amol a glanns Fluuchzeich gland.
Es woa grood su grouß,
daß mers in die Händ hädd nehmer känner.
Es had a weng brummd und is schdäihbliem.
A Schblzeichmännler is ausgschdieng
und had gfrouchd,
wous dou nach Honolulu gäihd.
Obber des hommer aa ned gwißd.
Dann is des Männler widder eigschdieng
und is fordgfluung,
grodaus in Himml naaf, wous härkummer is.

Wenn mir des
unsere Nachbern derzlerdn,
maanerdn däi,
ba uns schdimmds nimmer ganz.
Und in Doggder derzln mers aa ned,
den ibberhabbd ned.
Mir soong häggsdns:

A Blimmler had gwagld im Groos.
A Schneggng is iibern Weech gloffm.
Und Omassn sin am Baum naafgrabbld.

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