German Matters Literature Poetry

“Der Andere Mann”- Kurt Tucholsky 1890-1935








Du lernst ihn in einer Gesellschaft kennen.
Er plaudert. Er ist zu dir nett.
Er kann dir alle Tenniscracks nennen.
Er sieht gut aus. Ohne Fett.
Er tanzt ausgezeichnet. Du siehst ihn dir an…
Dann tritt zu euch beiden dein Mann.

Und du vergleichst sie in deinem Gemüte.
Dein Mann kommt nicht gut dabei weg.
Wie er schon dasteht – du liebe Güte!
Und hinten am Hals der Speck!
Und du denks bei dir so: “eigentlich …
Der da wäre ein Mann für mich ! ”

My provisional and tentative translation for which is:-

You  get to know him around and about.

He chats and seems friendly.

He knows who are the latest tennis stars.

He looks great-no fat anywhere.

He dances beautifully.

Then both of you remember your husband!


…and when you compare them in your thoughts

Your husband doesn’t come out of it very well!

Goodness, how he has become already!

The back of his neck like a lump of bacon.

You think to yourself, ”Well actually,

There goes the chap for me…”

These, however, are only the first two verses and then the implication neatly reverses again, delightfully….




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