Bertolt Brecht

Considering Hell,
my brother Shelley thought
it must be much like London.
Since I live in Los Angeles and not London
I think Hell is more like
Los Angeles.

In Hell, too, there must be luxuriant gardens
with flowers big as trees
which of course wither at once
if not fed
with rich people's water.
And fruit-markets where great piles of fruit
have no smell, have no taste.
And endless convoys of cars
as light as their shadows, faster than impulses -
gleaming conveyances in which well-fed people
go nowhere from nowhere.
And houses
built for the happy thus standing empty
even when lived in.

The houses in Hell, too, aren't
all of them ugly,
but the fear of being dumped on the street
oppresses the suburbanites no less than the shanty-town squatters.


a note on Hell









MTC Cronin

In hell, Hitler is forced
to protect his anonymity.

He paints walls and cadavers
and sniffs fumes of the dead;

he eats the ashes of children
and drinks blood from a funnel;

hammered into his mouth
are many pulled gold teeth; but mostly

he sits forgotten on the chair
just inside hell's door.

Translations from the German
Anthony Weir

Heiner Müller

He lived indeed in dark times.

The times have got brighter.

The times have darkened.

When brightness says I am darkness

It speaks the truth.

When darkness says I

am brightness, it tells no lie.

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>> Six translations of a poem by Rilke >>






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