Thursday, June 14, 2007

Poetry Thursday~Erich Fried

Eric Fried is a poet I learned about while living in Germany. I actually first read his poems in German long before I read them in English. In either language they are powerful. I went online to see if I could find one of my favorites by him translated and came across this one, which is a new one for me. I put the English first and added the original as well. Enjoy.

One Hour

I have spent one hour
a poem that I have written

One hour
That means: In this time
1400 small children died of starvation
because every 2½ seconds
one child under five starves to death
in our world

Also for one hour
the arms race continued
and 62 million eight hundred thousand dollars
were spent in this one hour
for the protection of various powers
from each other
for the military spendings of the world
at the moment amount to
550 billion dollars per year
Our country also
contributes its mite

The question arises
if it still makes sense
to write poems
with the way things are
It maybe true
that some poems are about
military spendings and war
and starving children
But others are about
love and aging and
meadows and trees and mountains
and also about poems and pictures

If it wasn't also for
all these other things
then nobody really cares
about children and peace either anymore.

~Erich Fried
Translated from the German by Anna Kallio)

Eine Stunde

Ich habe eine Stunde damit verbracht
ein Gedicht das ich geschrieben habe
zu korrigieren

Eine Stunde
Das heißt: In dieser Zeit
sind 1400 kleine Kinder verhungert
denn alle 2½ Sekunden verhungert
ein Kind unter fünf Jahren
in unserer Welt

Eine Stunde lang wurde auch
das Wettrüsten fortgesetzt
und 62 Millionen achthunderttausend Dollar
wurden in dieser einen Stunde ausgegeben
für den Schutz der verschiedenen Mächte
denn die Rüstungsausgaben der Welt
betragen derzeit
550 Milliarden Dollar im Jahr
Auch unser Land trägt dazu
sein Scherflein bei

Die Frage liegt nahe
ob es noch sinnvoll ist
bei dieser Lage der Dinge
Gedichte zu schreiben.
Allerdings geht es
in einigen Gedichten
um Rüstungsausgaben und Krieg
und verhungernde Kinder.
Aber in anderen geht es
um Liebe und Altern und
um Wiesen und Bäume und Berge
und auch um Gedichte und Bilder

Wenn es nicht auch
um all dies andere geht
dann geht es auch keinem mehr wirklich
um Kinder und Frieden

~ Erich Fried

See more Poetry Thursday poems here.

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Blogger Clockworkchris said...

I have noticed on your page two poems by other poets. Do you write yourself? I haven't read far enough to know for sure but maybe you could take these examples and try a stanza or two in that same style. Once you get going you might find it easy. What do I know, I am just another human full of silly ideas like this one.

8:07 PM  

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