Mudlark No. 57 (2015)

Gewaltige Mutter

Gewaltige Mutter des Mittag Tods,
Die du wonnig die Menschen mähst!
Süß sterben sie dir entgegen
Auf den Bänken des Parks.
In schön heliotropen Kleidern
Die Mädchen in blonder Umwölkung
Sterben schief lehnend, feucht freudig.
Hinter ihnen aber aus dem Rasen
Reißest du Rhododendren-Gewalt,
Riesige Büschel-Fruchtbarkeit
Und des Baumschattens Heimat.
Töte auch mich, o Sonne!
Du Schwall über grünem Gezwitscher,
Die du Mädchen mähst
Auf den kinderumspielten Bänken!
Töte mich,
Daß ich unsteter Lüge vergesse
Und des Fäulnis-Lauschens,
Daß ich des Feindes
In mir und vor mir vergesse!

Almighty Mother

Almighty mother of this midday death,
You who brightly mow its inhabitants!
Sweetly they die toward you
On the benches in the park.
In pretty, heliotropic skirts,
In blond gathering clouds die girls
Leaning so wrong, joyfully moist.
But from the lawn behind them,
You wrest the rhododendrons’ might,
Enormous bushels of fertility,
And this home of tree shade.
Kill me too, o sun!
You cascade above the green tittering,
You who mow young girls
On benches swirling with children.
Kill me,
So that I of a dodgy lie forget
And of this decadence eavesdropping,
So that I of the adversary
In me and before me forget!

Note: title, Almighty Mother (Gewaltige Mutter), taken from the dialectic of the Great Mother and matriarchy popular in in early twentieth-century German thought and art, which was used to sanction not only Free Love but also the pedophilia excoriated here; line 15, swirling with children (kinderumspielten), the rendering, a paraphrase of a rare compound adjective, is based on a nineteenth-century account of the dissipations of “naked Roman emperors” (e.g., Tiberius).

James Reidel | Schuld > Guilt
Contents | Mudlark No. 57 (2015)