Bertolt Brecht: Bad Times for Poetry

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Of course I know: only happy people are popular. People love to hear his voice. His face is also pretty. The crippled tree in the yard showed that the soil was bad, but people passing by called it a cripple for good reason. I could see none of the green boats and jubilant sails of the bay. All I see is the fisherman’s tattered net. Why do I only mention that forty-year-old village woman walking curled up? And the girls’ breasts were as warm as ever. There is a rhyme in my song that sounds so proud now. Inside me, two things were fighting over the joy of the apple tree blossoming and the horror of the painter’s speech. But only the latter compelled me to go to the desk. * A plasterer, also translated as a painter, is a metaphor for a politician in modern German, here referring to Hitler. Translated by Canran Huang (from English) Yes, I know: only happy people are liked. His voice is nice. He has a pretty face. The broken tree in the yard shows poor soil, yet passers-by are justifiably insulted for being a broken tree. Green ships and flying sails glide unseen in Sound Sound. Of all I see only the broken nets of the fishermen. Why do I only record a forty-year-old village woman walking with a hunched back? The girls’ breasts are still so warm. In my poetry, rhyming a rhyme borders on irreverence. The blossoming apple tree is pleasant to me and the speech of the house painter is terrifying. But only the latter drives me to the desk. * Brecht often referred to Hitler as a house painter, because Hitler worked as a construction worker and painted small decorative pictures.

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