Two Poems


Next door a child’s playing Beethoven’s “Pour Elise.”
One can hear the mistake, all over and over again.
The dogma of infallibility was a faux pas.
On the part of the parasite,
it’s a fatal blunder to kill the host.
It’s also called globalization.

Out of bashfulness, the decisive mistake
hides in a dune of insignificant errors,
being drowned by them. There has never been
a dearth of voices in warning that said:
The world is the incorrigible.

Touching attempts at repair, seals, patches,
fillings, reforms, improvements
with red ink and pentimenti:
they all lead to perfectly novel howlers.

Surely congenital defects and abortions
are totally different.
But the work, too, goes amiss,
the request, the color, the start,
the kick and the ignition.

A Milky Way of aberrations
which is surprising. All in all,
what results from it is a miracle.

An Optimistic Ditty

It does happen, now and then,
that somebody cries for help.
At once, someone else leaps into
the water, absolutely for nothing.

In the thick of fattest capitalism,
the glinting fire truck turns the corner
and quenches the flames, or silver shines
from the beggar’s hat all of a sudden.

Every morning the streets are teeming
with people who run back and forth, without
drawn knives, just at their leisure,
in search of milk and radishes.

As in the midst of peace.

A glorious spectacle.

—Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Published in: on December 26, 2009 at 1:26 PM  Leave a Comment  

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