Based on poems by Reiner Kunze as translated by my late friend Ewald Osers,
being reflections on the restrictions imposed on artists and writers
by the totalitarian government (and Stasi (State Security Police)) of the DDR.
This can be performed simply by an instrumental duo or each section can be performed
with a narrator introducing each section with the poem itself.
“Bad”, she said “was the moment of undressing.”
Then, exposed to their gaze she discovered ev’rything about them.
There was also one who wrote it all down
word for word
verse for verse
wrote it down
In the morning the papers kept silent silent
In the evening the screen showed serried ranks.
The End of Art:
said the owl to the mountain cock
“You mustn’t sing of the sun
the sun’s not important!”
The mountain cock struck the sun from its poem.
“You’re an artist!” said the owl to the mountain cock.
And there was darkness all round.
What am I keeping under lock and seal?
No conspiracy not even pornography
The past the past, daughter,
to know it can cost the future
Letters from the East:
The stamp’s upside down the head’s upside down
an oversight an oversight
better take another envelope
Birds postillions when you start singing
the letter with the blue seal will arrive
with stamps bursting into flower
with words reading “Nothing lasts for ever.”
With the sun the post comes unloading letters.
How much light.
Postman blue clockhand
while you stand at number ten
I’m not yet dead.
I am K. and live here.
The poet has moved away address unknown.
Even our silent letters are screened
Translations ©Ewald Osers, used by kind permission.
Video with spoken poems (flute and guitar version)