By Heinz Piontek
translation and advent by means of Richard Exner
Heinz Piontek was once a winner of the Georg Buchner Prize in 1976, an award given to German language writers of remarkable expertise. I hugely suggest taking a look into the gathering of prize winners on bibliotik. The authors and their writings current nice publicity to German language literature to a global audience.
from Exner's Introduction:
The assortment Alive or useless , from which the contents
of this booklet have been selected, is Piontek’s 6th quantity
of poetry. His previous poetry turns out to lie some distance in the back of regardless of
similarity in subject matter and angle. He X-rays his period, its slo-
gans and ideologies; he states a few disagreeable truths. He is
eloquent yet now not wordy. He has develop into a grasp at slicing
his personal poems to the bone. His vocabulary of necessities and
essences is distilled from a monstrous repository of poetic language,
informed via culture. Pathos is infrequent; in the course of the final years
there is expanding proof of a benign scepticism, of meas-
ured irony. but, while a remembered panorama, for instance,
pushes his visions into the fact, he does no longer want a lengthy
hymnic line to convey praise.
Heinz Piontek is, as this quantity of originals and trans-
lations exhibits, an terribly awake poet, wide awake and
conscientious; to him, his finished craft is neither regimen
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Extra info for Alive or Dead (Unicorn German Series)
If the older generation praises me it's strictly faute de mieux; the young people ridicule my white gloves, they want to see blood. I can hear them already, standing around the excavated hole: God, if he had only committed himself! As if I hadn’t protested against lies from the very beginning. 57 Nicht mehr gewillt Ist es wahr, wir verknochern? Dauert der Frieden schon zu lange? Unser mit Blutverlusten, Salz, Nerven erkaufter, windiger Frieden? Ja, rechnet nur mit uns ab, uns Feiglingen: geschlagen, gebrannt wie wir sind und nicht mehr gewillt, die Gewalt noch einmal auf unsere Schultern zu heben.
And a glass of Tyrolean wine. It stops raining. Yesterday I was desperate. Now the air is beginning to clear. My courage grows. And in advance I destroy words, with which I could sail across the mountains. 27 Schreiben Gedachte Linien: Flugschneisen. Worter als Leitton in der Ohrmuschel. Moglichkeiten, die Hafen zu erreichen. Man setzt sein Leben aufs Spiel. Writing Imagined lines: airways. Words as the radio-beam in the auricle. Chances to reach port. You stake your life. 29 Nach Jahren Die Masse Wasser bei Ulm: Wiedersehen mit etwas schwer Durchschaubarem, was schon immer sich walzte wer weiss wohin, am Ende nicht zu beirren und ich: dieselben Fragen vor mir herschiebend, mit menschlicher Ausdauer, das ist klar, noch immer unruhig und etwas zu hastigauch das Bett, das an meins erinnert: gewisse Orte, wo unsere Auflosung beginnt.
5 Strick und Grube fur bevorzugte Falle. Uns wird man liegenlassen auf dem Pflaster. 36 Utopian Poems 1 Citizen war, in the end you will be the last citizen. 2 Streetfights between the races, the birthdays, the genitals, the pages of one and the same book. No pardon given. 3 Cities, you will again become transparent. The dream of simple things is tested by fire. 4 In barricaded homes once again money will take on the form of the Renaissance. 5 Noose and pit for the happy few. We will be left lying on the pavement.