Poetry meme

There’s a meme going around weblogs at the moment that says ‘When you see this, post a bit of poetry in your blog’.

(Via Desbladet, dust from a distant sun)

I nearly posted part of Huchel’s ‘Wei Dun und die alten Meister’ but have decided this is too gloomy and so I offer, hoping not to be got for copyright violation, Robert Gernhardt’s Lied (from Wörtersee). I offer a prose translation, but this, as with all poetry translation, is almost worse than no translation at all:


In dem Grase war ein Tier,
es saß dort, ich stand hier.
Ich ging langsam darauf zu,
fragte es: Wer bist dann du?
Bist du bräunlich
oder rot?
Bist lebendig
oder tot?
Bist ein Teufel
oder Gott?
Oder bist du ein Hase?


In the grass there was a creature.
It sat there, I stood here.
I slowly approached it,
asked it: And who are you?
Are you brownish
or red?
Are you living
or dead?
Are you a devil
or God?
Or are you a hare?

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