A Shadow on the Wall

By Gottfried Benn Gottfried Benn

Translated from the German by Michael Hofmann Read the translator's notes

A shadow on the wall
boughs stirred by the noonday wind
that’s enough earth
and for the eye
enough celestial participation.

How much further do you want to go? Refuse
the bossy insistence
of new impressions—

lie there still,
behold your own fields,
your estate,
dwelling especially
on the poppies,
unforgettable
because they transported the summer—

where did it go?

Source: Poetry (March 2011).

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.