five-story house in laleli

By Gisela Kraft 1936–2010 Gisela Kraft

Translated By Laura Leichum Read the translator's notes

one lies in rags on the street
and his stomach is empty
and he wishes for death

one sits with friends at tea and backgammon
and his mind is empty
and he wishes for death

one sits in a straight-backed chair at a desk
and his bank account is empty
and he wishes for death

one lies in bed staring out to sea
and the place next to him in bed is empty
and he wishes for death

one flies back with food in its beak
and its nest is empty
and only this one says
we should give it another try

Source: Poetry (March 2010).

MORE FROM THIS ISSUE

This poem originally appeared in the March 2010 issue of Poetry magazine

March 2010
 Gisela   Kraft

Biography

Gisela Kraft was born in Berlin and lived in Weimar, Germany. She is the author of several works of poetry and prose, and a notable translator of Turkish literature into German. In 2009, she was awarded the Christoph-Martin-Wieland-Übersetzer-preis for Namen der Sehnsucht, her translation of Turkish poet Nâzim
Hikmet.

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Sorrow & Grieving, Social Commentaries, Life Choices

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Report a problem with this poem


Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.