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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

  strange child

the girl with curls said
her hair are snakes
indeed invisible to others
but they could
spew visible fire
which will burn down everything

they weren't petrified
but gave her
a drug of truth
a substance which assures almost always
that the patient
says the truth
it is said she revoked nothing
the clinic burned down

Sonderbares Kind

Das Mädchen mit Locken sagte
ihr Haar seien Schlangen
zwar unsichtbar für andere
aber sie könnten
sichtbares Feuer speien
das werde alles verbrennen

Man war nicht zu Stein erstarrt
sondern man gab ihr
eine W a h r h e i t s d r o g e
ein Präparat das fast immer
sicherstellt dass der Patient
die Wahrheit sagt
Es heisst sie nahm nichts zurück
Die Klinik verbrannte

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

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