By Ernst Jandl Ernst Jandl

Translated By Margitt Lehbert

that never
would he write
his autobiography

because his life
seemed to him
just so much filth

that only a few
points, bloody ones
he still remembers

but that he would
never hesitate
to reach into the filth

to pull out
what perhaps
could serve as stuff

for poetry
his disgusting
purpose in life

* * *

daß niemals
er schreiben werde
seine autobiographie

daß ihm sein leben
viel zu sehr
als dreck erscheine

daß auch nur wenige
punkte, blutige
er noch erinnere

daß aber niemals
er zögern werde
in den dreck zu fassen

um herauszuziehen
was vielleicht
einen stoff abgäbe

für poesie
seinen widerlichen

Source: Poetry (October 1998).


This poem originally appeared in the October 1998 issue of Poetry magazine

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Disappointment & Failure, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets

POET’S REGION Eastern Europe

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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