Somewhat gruff charm – Wolf Wondratschek

 Kurz und knapp  (Short and sweet)

This is the heading of an article in  Die Welt 05.07.08 by Uwe Wittstock and the opinion expressed,” somewhat gruff charm”, is how the reviewer sees Wondrat’s poetry. This is from the collection, Lied von der Liebe, published in that year. This poem is about his young son, Raoulito, and his attempts to fly.

CD of the collectin
CD of the collection


“Ich kann fliegen, behauptet er,

breitet die Arme aus, holt Luft,

hüpft hoch, ein paar Zentimeter,

steht wieder und sagt, siehst du?


Um was sonst, denke ich, geht es

unter Sterblichen, wenn nicht hin

und wieder um den Zauber einer

kurzen Sekunde, am besten einer

zwischen Himmel und Erde?”

In rough translation-

“I can fly, he boasts
Arms spread out into air,
and leaps a few inches high,
 and says once again, do you see?


What more, I wonder
for mankind, but the
repeated magic of a
short second, at best,
between Heaven and Earth?
between the sky and the ground.
“Ein paar der Gedichte Wondratscheks vermitteln sekundenlang einen zugegeben: etwas ruppigen Zauber – und um was sonst geht es? ” Uwe Wittstock

Author: penwithlit

Freelance writer and radio presenter

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