Thursday, February 18, 2010
New Page, plus poem
And heres a poem by Gottfried Benn that I think is beautiful
Man and Woman Go Through the Cancer Ward
Here in this row are wombs that have decayed,
and in this row are breasts that have decayed.
Bed beside stinking bed. Hourly the sisters change.
Come, quietly lift up this coverlet.
Look, this great mass of fat and ugly humors
was precious to a man once, and
meant ecstasy and home.
Come, now look at the scars upon this breast.
Do you feel the rosary of small soft knots?
Feel it, no fear. The flesh yields and is numb.
Here's one who bleeds as though from thirty bodies.
No one has so much blood.
They had to cut
a child from this one, from her cancerous womb.
They let them sleep. All day, all night. -They tell
the newcomers here sleep will make you well. -But Sundays
one rouses them a bit for visitors.-
They take a little nourishment. Their backs
are sore. You see the flies. Sometimes
the sisters wash them. As one washes benches.-
Here the grave rises up about each bed,
And flesh is leveled down the earth. The fire
burns out. And sap prepares to flow. Earth calls.-
translated from the German by Babette Deutsch