means to an end

By Gisela Kraft 1936–2010 Gisela Kraft

Translated By Laura Leichum Read the translator's notes

saw hammer drill
needle and tongs
are there any tools
that weren’t from the beginning
misused for torture and killing

throw away the tools
even the nails on your fingers
can scratch
and about the tongue
the chinese have a saying,
it can pulverize a person

is there not some means that peace
can call its own

erect a house
made of blossom petals
and bird down
capacious as a dream
and no one will live in it

all we have is
what keeps its form
to hold something together
you must use force
even for peace

Source: Poetry (March 2010).


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

March 2010
 Gisela   Kraft


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

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Social Commentaries, War & Conflict

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.