Gladioli

Translated by Michael Hofmann
A bunch of glads,
certainly highly emblematic of creation,
remote from frills of working blossom with hope of fruit:
slow, durable, placid,
generous, sure of kingly dreams.

All else is natural world and intellect!
Over there the mutton herds:
strenuous ends of clover and daggy sheep—
here friendly talents,
pushing Anna to the center of attention,
explaining her, finding a solution!

The glads offer no solution:
being—falling—
you mustn’t count the days—
fulfillment
livid, tattered, or beautiful.
More Poems by Gottfried Benn