The Kaiser was the first Cousin of George V,
descended, as he was from German George,
and unhappy Albert, the hard-working Saxon Elector.
-The relaxed, navy-cut beard of the one,
hysterical, bristling moustaches of the other…….
The Expressionists were Rupert Brooke’s generation.
Their hold on life was weaker than a baby’s.
Their deaths, at whatever age, were infant mortality-
a bad joke in this century. Suddenly become sleepy,
they dropped like flies, whimsical, sizzling,
ecstatic, from a hot light-bulb. Even before the War,
George Heym and a friend died from a skating accident.
From 1914, they died in battle and of disease-
or suicide like Trakl. Drugs Alcohol Little Sister.
One was a student at Oxford and died, weeks later,
on the other side……..Later they ran from the Nazis.
Benjamin was turned back at the Spanish border-
his history of the streets of Paris unfinished-
deflected into an autistic suicide. In 1938,
Ödön von Horváth, author of naturalistic comidies,
was struck by a falling tree. In Paris.
At the time
my anthology was compiled, there were still a few left:
psychoanalysts in the New World.
From the collection of Michael Hoffmann’s selected poems at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Selected-Poems-Michael-Hofmann/dp/0374532230/ref=sr_1_fkmr2_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1403993437&sr=8-2-fkmr2&keywords=michael+hoffman+Selected++poems- This web-address also contains two useful reviews.