Questions and Answers

Posted by on Jul 4, 2010 in Poem | One Comment

One of my favourite poets of all time is Erich Fried, an Austrian who emigrated to England because of the Nazis, and has written the most tender love poems and some of the most aggressive political poems I know. He also translated all of Shakespeare into German (not the only one who did that, but the only one imo who really managed to capture Shakespeare’s tone).

One of his poems about love is this (original title: “Fragen und Antworten”):


Where she lives?
Next door to desperation

To whom she is related?
To death and fear

Where she’ll go when she leaves?
Nobody knows this

From where she has come from?
From quite near or quite far

How long she will stay?
If you are lucky, as long as you live

What does she require of you?
Nothing, or everything

What does that mean?
That it is one and the same

What does she give you
– or me, as well – for it?
Exactly as much as she takes.
She holds nothing back

Does she hold you
– or me – captive
or does she free us?
It can happen to us
that she gives us freedom

To be free from her
is it good or bad?
It is the worst
that can happen to us

What is she in fact
and how can you define her?
It is said that God has said
he was her.


1 Comment

  1. television fan
    November 11, 2010

    Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don’t have time for all that..


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