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Erich Fried
this site contains the german originals
& my own translations
i hope despite my incomplete english
you get the confusing depth
of Erich Fried's verses


reckless artistic nature

learning process

anxiety and doubt

earn and bear

constructive self criticism


preservation of materia

strange child

liberation from the big idols

need knows no command

of the inner freedom

abandoned room

a collector


one agitated poet's questions

the edge

what it is

  reckless artistic nature

in his circles
will be received with pleasure
to do
which won't be received with pleasure

he's doing therefore out of
which won't be received with pleasure
just which will be received with pleasure
in his circles

Unbekümmerte Künstlernatur

In seinen Kreisen
wird es gerne angesehen
wenn man tut
was nicht gerne gesehen wird

Er tut daher von dem
was nicht gerne gesehen wird
nur das was gerne gesehen wird
in seinen Kreisen

first published 1978
in '100 Gedichte ohne Vaterland' ('100 poems without homeland')

-Vaterland- means directly translated -fatherland-, but
-vaterlandslose gesellen- can be translated as -unpatriotic lumps-
used in the sense of a social offense as a knockout term to stigmatize political opposition
thus -unpatriotic- as those -without homeland-
Erich Fried lost his homeland because of the Naziterror & had to emigrate from Austria to Great Britain
& remained lifelong without a real homeland neither in a geographic nor political sense,
nevertheless he felt at home within the humanistic worldview
so -poems without homeland- are poems on the ground of a humanistic world view & not a patriotic or not even political or social
so those are poems without statements & without bias, but those are also poems, which have to be said, exactly because they have no own space to be
Erich Fried understood himself as unbiased supporter of freedom, especially freedom of speech & that's the purest form of democracy

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