Friday, January 16, 2009

Think about it

Think about it, man is the enemy of man
and he meditates on his own annihilation.

Think about it always, think about it now

as you look at the overcast sky

this moment in April,

as you believe you hear growth like a gentle rustling,

the girls are cutting thistels

under the lark’s song,

think about it at this very moment:

as you sample wine in the cellars of Randersacken,

or squeeze oranges in the gardens of Alicante,

as you fall asleep in the Hotel Mirarmar near the beach of Taorina,

or light a candle on All Soul’s Day in the churchyard at Feuchtwangen,

as you haul the nets, if you’re a fisherman, over the Dogger Bank,

or in Detroit remove a screw from a conveyer belt,

as you set out plants in the rice fields of Setzuan,

or ride a mule across the Andes—

think about it!

Think about it when a hand strokes you tenderly,

think about it when your wife hugs you,

think about it when your children laugh at your side.

Think about it, after the great destructions
everyone will try to prove their innocence.

Think about it:

Korea and Bikini aren’t on any map,

they are in your heart.

Think about it, you are responsible for every atrocity

committed far away from you—

Günther Eich

with thanks to Jim Doss (translator) and Loch Raven Review.


  1. After the interesting feedback to the previous post I thought at least some of you might like to read the full poem.

  2. Which I did Sean...)
    But I still prefer Dylan Thomas and a bunch of other poets..!!

  3. Korea and Bikini, two simple words which date this, but yet it is timeless.

  4. Hans,
    wide is the realm of poetry, and Dylan Thomas is one of its inhabitants. :)

    quite. One does just have to change two 'simple words, and it could be written today.

    it is ... when thinking about.

    you find other words which make those reading them thinking about. :)

  5. I like it. Actually it reminds me of Walt Whitman...and I absolutely agree with the closing lines. Now I have yet ANOTHER poet to check out. Clippety-clop.

  6. Wendy,
    glad you like it.
    There's indeed a lot to discover in the realm of poetry.