like flies

die menschen gleichen den fliegen
die nicht begreifen
warum sie nicht mit dem kopf
durch das glas der fensterscheibe
in das erlösende licht
gelangen können

Hans Arp

men are like flies
who can't understand
why they can't pass
their heads 
through the windowpane 
in order to bathe in the light 
of salvation

tr. Michael Tweed



Am Fenster (II)

Zum Fenster sehe ich
hinaus, es ist so schön,
hinaus, es ist nicht viel. 
Es ist ein wenig Schnee,
auf den es regnet jetzt.
Es ist ein schleichend Grün,
das in ein Dunkel schleicht.
Das Dunkel ist die Nacht,
die bald in aller Welt
auf allem Schnee wird sein, 
auf allem Grün wird sein.
Hin schleicht sich freundlich Grün
ins Dunkel, ach wie schön.
Am Fenster sehe ich's.

I see at the window,
so nice,
outside, it's not much.
There's a little snow
on which it rains now.
There's a creeping green
that creeps into the darkness.
Darkness is night,
soon it will cover the world,
it will cover the snow,
it will cover the green.
This kind green creeping
into the darkness; oh how nice.
At the window I see it.

Robert Walser
tr. Daniele Pantano



the open shutter

Someone pouring light
Out of the window.
The roses of air
And children
Playing in the street
Look up.
Pigeons nibble
At its sweetness.
Girls are beautiful
And men gentle
In this light.
But before the others say so
Someone shuts
The window again.

Karl Krolow
(translated from the German by Kevin Perryman)



man and woman

The solitary man by the window
At dusk looks out, stares
At the grey concrete wall that hides
His neighbour’s daily routine. Always,
The sound of someone sweeping
Dry leaves and later, smoke rising

Entering the room. Such a small world
That one’s rubbish can easily be another’s,
He thinks, then pauses as the first few
Notes rise from a stranger’s throat.
Behind the wall she stood, her secret pleasures,
Burning, singing, burning and singing.

Mayo Martin