From That Day
A poem, that meant a lot to me when I was a youth. Just found that old book again. Author is Heinz Rudolf Kunze, a German singer/songwriter. I do like his music, but I value his poems much more. You may judge yourself why. I might publish more of them. The book is called Deutsche Wertarbeit, which translates as “German Workmanship”. It was my most-loved book from 15 to 25, and this is one of the poems a still do like very much.
The original title is “VON JENEM TAG AN”, the author is Heinz Rudolf Kunze. Translated myself. Enjoy.
From that day,
when I forgot as a small boy to lock the loo door,
and my father came in mistakenly and saw,
that I had sat down to do my SMALL BUSINESS,
the lifeline of my hand has turned arm-upwards,
In the direction of the heart.
Now there it has almost arrived,
From that day I did not have to beg any more for books,
for records, for piano lessons.
In the evenings when I lay in bed,
the relatives laughed in the sitting room.
They laughed at me.
The footballs and the bikes went to others.
Something in me did not find this all right
and tried at an adolescent night of New Year’s Eve with
one and a half litres of corn schnapps to get rid of me.
Almost it would have succeeded, however, then father stepped
too early out of the front door, the arm full of firecrackers,
and sank with the slippers deeply
in my full-vomited snow.
In the bookshelves grew my talent by the metre.
I have then become deaf from the laughter of the sports teachers
(these Early-Roman hyenas mostly also gave Latin
and read with us exclusively Final Solutions in the original text),
I have then become blind by the futility,
With which I squinted after dance class-ladies,
I have then become dumb from the shame about stubborn praying
to a Greatness in which I did not believe.
Today I sit in a deep temple
chew laurel breathe deafening vapours
and they suck from me with tubes
every image that agitates me
on that day
I was sentenced to death on probation
they said, I would be free to interpret contradictions
otherwise I confiscated would be what to me only
left the possibility to invent me
I chose the music