ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

 Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


Poems by Günter Eich, translated by Stuart Friebert



Sagt ihm,
er soll die Gabel links nehmen
und das Messer rechts.
Einarmig gilt nicht.



In Saloniki
weiß ich einen, der mich liest,
und in Bad Nauheim.
Das sind schon zwei.



Chandler ist tot
und Dashiell Hammett.
Mir liegts nicht,
mich an das Böse schlechthin
zu halten und
Dante zu lesen.



Mich überzeugen
die dünnen Schuhe, der
einfache Schritt über Stipendien
und Reling hinaus.



       Tell him,
       he should take his fork in his left hand
       and his knife in his right.
       One-armed doesn't count.



        In Salonica
        I know someone who reads me,
        and in Bad Nauheim.
        That's already two.


Contribution to the Dante-Year

        Chandler is dead
        and Dashiell Hammett.
        All that's really left for me
        is to take in
        what's evil and
        read Dante.


Hart Crane

         His thin shoes, his
         easy step over grants
         and the railing
         convince me.

Günter Eich (1907–1972) was a member of Gruppe 47 and one of the leading postwar German poets. Eich and his mate Ilse Aichinger, also one of Germany's leading writers in the 20th century, were together a huge Force for Good in postwar Germany.
"Between Question & Answer: Selected Poems of Ute von Funcke," Stuart Friebert's 16th volume of translations (some of which appeared in Offcourse), appeared in late 2018 from Pinyon Publishing. "Decanting: Selected & New Poems," out from Lost Horse Press in 2017, is the latest of his 16 books of poems.

 STILL IN PRINT is VALUABLE NAIL: Selected Poems of Günter Eich, translated by Stuart Friebert, David Walker, & David Young (Field Translation Series/Oberlin College Press)

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