Monday, September 24, 2012

Gunther Grass


My breath missed the needle's eye.
Now I must count
and homeward leaf down the stairs.

But the crawling forays
end in watery ditches,
in which tadpoles . . .
Count up again.

My playback reel gabbles its third decade.
The bed leaves for a journey. And everywhere
The Customs interpose: What's in your luggage?

Three socks, five shoes, a fog machine.--
In several languages they are counted up:
the stars, the sheep, the tanks, the voices . . .
A provisional sum is counted out.

--Gunter Grass

tr. Michael Hamburger


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