Fragments 1953

By Gottfried Benn Gottfried Benn

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

A day without tears is a rare occurrence
                culpable absent-mindedness
practically an episode


when men still wore starched collars,
and stuffed cotton wool between their toes
hobbled about in pain, pedicure hadn’t been invented,
but you would see faces that were worth a second look
those were years when something whispered

Source: Poetry (March 2012).


This poem originally appeared in the March 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

March 2012

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