”To read a poem in January is as lovely as to go for a walk in June.”
Sartre‘s words are so true – particularly in this case, at least for me. I trawled through my archive and came upon this snippet of a longer poem by the early 20th century poet Joachim Ringelnatz known for his often absurd, often extremely funny but also satirical poems. I found this one on a gravestone, not on a real one, however, but part of an exhibition of modern cemetery arrangements featuring entries from all over Germany as part of the Bundesgartenschau (national horticulture show) in Brandenburg a few years back. I looked up the whole poem and it rushed me with a lot of memories as it used to be of my favourites (appropriately gone, done, yet never completely forgotten).
I found a few adaptations and a few literal translations, none of which I was really happy with. Here is my own attempt at rendering the poem in English:
I love you so! I would give you a tile from my stove without hesitation. I did not hurt you. Now I feel sad. The railroad track elevation Is ablaze with furze. Gone - done - Yet never forgotten. I set out. Things which last Are never loud. Time defaces the living breed. A dog barks. He cannot read. He cannot write. We cannot stay tight. I am laughing. The holes are the most important parts of a sieve. Ik hebb di leev.
Linked to Travel with Intent. For more posts inspired by the Sartre quote, click here.