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Translated from the German by Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright
Published: Sun Oct 15 2000
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Another Dawn Watch Song

Translated from the German by Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright

White the forest path icy
dark the underground
where I’m standing
Serene, with quaking body.

Trees lain down
Get up! the bare half-there prisoners

I keep in view
Roverseer

Who are these two in the woods
Ignaz hauls the cart
Martin mumbles:
forget it.

Pushing up the mountain
words and bones
a stone quarry at Weimar
a noble man it was said

Any circumstances which the working hours . . .
must be at an irreducible . . .

to be exact Schiller
SS-First Lieutenant

Do volcanoes
make the mountains
or does the water
assemble them neatly together?

Winterstein, minister at rest
and under boot heels
went, a smoking
over the chain of guards

Or the sea lifts
instead of the fog
Again, my dear fellow, to the slopes—
one more time down the hell!

shalt leave me my earth
standing
And the ovens
in their glow

Wintersummer
Life sentence
A grave cloud cover
eerie thickets
you water from veins

 

Volker Braun (b. 1939), winner in 2000 of the prestigious Georg Büchner Prize, started his career in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) but soon had difficulties with the authorities because he criticized their view of the world from the left (?). His recent books include Tumulus (Burial Mound, Suhrkamp, 1999) and Lustgarten Preußen: Ausgewählte Gedichte (Pleasure Garden Prussia: Selected Poems, Suhrkamp, 2000). He lives in Berlin and also publishes plays and prose. (2000)

Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright is a translator of contemporary German poetry and writing. Her translations have appeared in journals including AGNISlope, and Seneca Review. (2010)

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Volker Braun, winner in 2000 of the prestigious Georg Büchner Prize, started his career in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) but soon had difficulties with the authorities because he criticized their view of the world. His recent books include Tumulus (Burial Mound, Suhrkamp, 1999) and Lustgarten Preußen_: Ausgewählte Gedichte (Pleasure Garden Prussia: Selected Poems,_ Suhrkamp, 2000). He lives in Berlin and also publishes plays and prose. (updated 2000)

Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright is a translator of contemporary German poetry and writing. Her translations have appeared in journals including AGNI, Slope, and Seneca Review. (updated 7/2010)
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