The German Riveter: POEMS by Ludwig Steinherr from BEFORE THE INVENTION OF PARADISE, translated by Richard Dove (Arc Publications, 2010)

 
WITH A BAG OF FRUIT IN THE RAIN

Suddenly
sodden
with tepid drops

the paper turns
in my hands
into smooth sheer
human skin

I can feel
the bony shape
of each fruit –

shocked
at so much unexpected
tenderness

 
NADA

How little
pomp
and circumstance
in the German word ‘Nichts’ –

A sober marriage
of form and content:
a word that
evaporates
on your tongue,
kids no one,
at most has philosophers
barking up forest paths
that end abruptly –

Compare
‘nada’ though:

live syllables,
sounds like
nattering children,
a girl’s name, a
spirited blast on a trumpet

fluttering merrily
colourfully
between your lips –
a red rag
in front of the horns
of the bull

 SOUTHERN SCENE

In the courtyard two
fifteen-year-olds
are throwing each other
an open
knife
ever faster
ever more dangerous –

A girl is leaning
smiling beside them –

The whole of the evening’s
just this
flashing knife
this flushed
look

 IDEA

In the entirely dark room
the rustling of your dress as it
falls to the floor

By Ludwig Steinherr

Translated by Richard Dove

Read The German Riveter in its entirety here.

Find the books from The German Riveter on the Goethe-Institut page.


Ludwig Steinherr has worked as an essayist, reviewer, juror and translator, but it is as a poet that he has really made his name. He was elected a fellow of the Bayerische Akademie der Schönen Künste (Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts) in 2003. He lives in Munich.


Richard Dove was born in Bath and taught German and English language and literature at the Universities of Exeter, Regensburg and Wales before moving to Munich in 1987, where he has since worked as a writer and lecturer. He writes mostly in German, and also translates into English.

Category: November 2019 - The German RiveterThe RiveterTranslations

Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

X