Letters from Life

i want to do everything i want to do…and i really do

Bitte Wo –

By good chance happen great things…said Confucius. And he also said that we must look at the next step in life and not try to map out the whole 100 yards. Something similar is my coming to know of Gottfried Benn. The 20th century poet from Germany whose somewhat pacifist looking biography on ‘wikipedia’ may inadvertently led the reader to believe that not much to be found in the depths of his poems.

Interestingly, however, as I read his poems I find a depth that was promised when a friend made my acquaintance with this miracle-writer. And his expressionism-laden poems make them ever so delectable. So here I reproduce a poem (in German and then my version in English).

Bitte Wo-

Wenn du noch Sehnsucht hättest
(bitte wann, bitte wo),
dich noch mit Küssen kettest
(amout – bel oiseau),

wenn du noch flügelrauschen
über den Anden schwebst
dich in zwei Meere tauschend
ahnungslos, wen du lebst,

wenn noch die Qualen sprechen,
Tränen durch bel oiseau
dich stürzen und zerbrechen-
bitte wann- bitte wo?-


My attempted translation of this poem in English

If you still have the yearning
(please when, please where),
you still bound by the kisses
(love- beautiful bird),

if you still are
hovering over the Andes
you swapping in two seas (more like: you still living in two worlds)
oblivious, you live,

if still the Agonies speak,
Tears by beautiful bird,
you fall and break (to a hundred pieces)
(please when, please where?)


And here is a link to wikipedia biography of his unusual life


Categories: #evening, languages, love

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1 reply

  1. Beautifully written… Please checkout my blog.


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