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Mon, Jan. 23rd, 2006, 12:35 pm
translated from the German by Mandy Cohen

Couple at the Window

This is Sunday morning;
for fun we lean
out the window, lazily
watching the street.
The sun shines. Life flows.
A small dog, a plump child...
We have found ourselves here
for days, weeks, months
and for hours--for hours.

I, the man, don't think of me.
Today I stay home,
today I won't go to the office--
...though the taxes still need to be done...
What time? I don't exactly know.
She is a woman to me,
I feel bound to her
for days, weeks, months
and for hours--for hours.

I, the woman, am glad to be with him.
We don't speak of marriage.
But one day I want him
to be fully, completely tied to me.
The plump woman on the balcony next to us
gives her child a candy
and plays with her dog...
that should be my life, someday--
not only for hours--for hours.

A current connects us, mind to mind;
we are still an adventure.
One day we could part,
and another would come...a new one...
Or we could stay together forever;
our wild flames would be extinguished,
habit would be where love once was.
And only in rare seconds
would memory flash on that beautiful year,
and on hours--on happy hours.

-Kurt Tucholsky

Mon, Jan. 23rd, 2006 07:11 pm (UTC)

"A current connects us, mind to mind;
we are still an adventure"

The thought of it elevates my spirit.

Tue, Jan. 24th, 2006 02:42 am (UTC)

yay for the magic of poetry!

Tue, Jan. 24th, 2006 01:59 pm (UTC)

Hi, I think that's great that you posted a translation of Tucholsky! Nice work! It readsquite well. I've started a blog a few weeks ago on which I'm posting my own translations of some of Tucholsky's poetry and texts. I didn't know about this poem you selected, but I've added a link to it at the blog. I invite you to stop by:


Wed, Jan. 25th, 2006 07:24 am (UTC)

I'd like to add, after having read the original, this translation is impeccable.

Wed, Jan. 25th, 2006 05:33 pm (UTC)

Mandy Cohen is famous AND impeccable.

Darn tootin'.

Wed, Jan. 25th, 2006 07:05 pm (UTC)

Mandy, thanks for your guestbook entry. The first one! I don't know about your friends in Germany (are they online somewhere - if so I'll go visit them) - I found you via technorati.com. Every few days I search to see if there are any interesting new posts on Tucholsky (I'm collecting them in my sidebar).

Bella_Dance: Yes, her translation does absolutely speak for that. The tricky thing about translating Tucholsky is that his language was completely natural, they way you might talk. And that's just so hard to capture. Some of the more idiomatic poems/pieces I wouldn't even venture to try.

Sat, Jul. 1st, 2006 08:07 am (UTC)
(Anonymous): hello

Good site! Good information. Keep Alive!