Later Brecht

1945 to 1954. Translated by me.1 Bert died in 1956.

Swansong

Should the last panel then read
The shattered one, the one without a reader:

The planet will burst apart.
Those whom it has spawned, will destroy it.

Together to live, we conceived only capitalism.
Conceiving physics, we conceived more.
Hence it was, to die together.

Besides This Star

Besides this star, I thought, is nothing and it
is so devasted.
It alone is our refuge and that
looks like this.

Smoke

The little house under trees near the lake.
From the roof rises smoke.
In its absence
How desolate then would
House, trees and lake be.

Ha! Ha! Ha! laughed Socrates' patrons

Ha! Ha! Ha! laughed Socrates' patrons
But one of the three Ha's
Gave him pause.

The pyramid of Cheops has eleven flaws
The bible countless
And Newtonian physics
Is full of superstition.

Lovers, returning home from cinema
Could in this or that
teach Romeo and Juliet2

And Azdak's father
amazed his son many a time.

Pleasures

The first glance out of the window in the morning
The found again old book
Elated faces
Snow, the change of seasons
The newspaper
The dog
Dialectics
Showering, swimming
Old music
Comfortable shoes
Comprehending
New music
Writing, planting
Traveling
Singing
Beeing kind.

The Pauper3

The sky is grey
Along the gutter
walks a poor man.
He earns almost nothing.
He can't eat
He got no shelter
He can't be gracious
He freezes like a dog
He is not merciful
He got no friends
His shoes show holes
He is sick
He is a criminal
He earns almost nothing
He walks along the gutter
The sky is grey.



  1. Translated from Berthold Brecht: Gesammelte Werke, ed. Suhrkamp-Verlag, Bd. 10, Frankfurt a. M. : Suhrkamp, 1967. The poems are: Abgesang (p. 935), Außer diesem Stern (p. 959), Der Rauch (p. 1012), Ha! Ha! Ha! lachten die Kunden des Sokrates (p. 1018-9), Vergnügungen (p. 1022-3), Der Pauper (p. 1082). 

  2. I was surprised by the rhyme. The German version has none. 

  3. without a date, listed under "Translations Reworks Adaptations"