Featured Poem

When we were first divided into two...


When we were first divided into two
And one of our beds stood here and one stood there
We picked an inconspicuous word to bear
The sense we gave it: I am touching you.

The pleasure of such speaking may seem paltry
For touch itself is indispensable
But we at least kept ‘it’ inviolable
And saved for later, like a surety.

Stayed ours, and yet removed from you and me
Could not be used yet had not ceased to be
Not rightly there and yet not gone away

And standing among strangers we could say
This word of ours as in the common tongue
And mean by it: we know where we belong.


This poem comes from an exchange between Brecht and his lover, Mrgarete Steffin. Read more here. 

» Comment on this translation 0 comment(s)

About the translation:
Poet:
Bertolt Brecht
Translator:
David Constantine
Original language:
German
Issue:
2014 Number 2 - The Constellation

About the author

Original poet

Bertolt Brecht

BERTOLT BRECHT, one of the twentieth century’s finest dramatists and lyric poets, was born in Germany and forced into exile in...

» Read more
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

Comment

No Comments

ADD YOUR COMMENT


Browse poems

By original language »

By issue of MPT »

Go Digital

Subscribe to the digital edition of MPT for access to all back issues and to the Exactly app.» View free trial issue

Back to top
Supported by Arts Council England

Copyright © Modern Poetry in Translation and contributors
Website design ashbydesign
Developed by Code Frontiers
Powered by Storemill