Goodbye Peter Rühmkorf

Peter Rühmkorf (25.10.1929-8.6.2008): Idealist, romantic, left-wing ironist. RIP, great poet. Surfing around the internet I’m stunned: Rühmkorf has not been translated into English?! OK, here goes nothing:

Nothing but love

Transient home this, my garden abode
where I gaze at the evening,
beautiful
to be able to say, still: ‘s beautiful here,
as the sky disappears and love goes to my head,
after all that senselessness and like-a-rolling-stone-ness,
to knock at a settled heart and feel
that cut, way down deep in my leathery soul
THAT JOY.

My wit is lost on this country,
running off at the mouth and round in circles
– hands on and eyes down, whatever for –
but as long as I am still breathingand-smokingand-living
as long I can still feel my own grief
and enjoy my own happiness,
I will
praise her who keeps the fire burning
in fulsome tones!

You, so useless in your loveliness:
as the night throws its mantle
over your illiterate flesh, all beings
unveil their mortality,
and from yielding darkness flows laughing lust …
While inside and out of my numb skull I find
nothing but love
to keep and teach me.

Attempt on “Außer der Liebe nichts” by Peter Rühmkorf 1959. If you know his works have been translated into English, do let me know. Thanks!

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Anne

Teaching English for business communication skills, writing online for learners, translating, sailing whenever I can, from Washington, D.C.

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