“screams in the sky”

Standard

For the Grave of a Peace-Loving Man
Hans Magnus Enzensberger
This one was no philanthropist,
avoided meetings, stadiums, the large stores.
Did not eat the flesh of his own kind.
Violence walked the streets,
smiling, not naked.
But there were screams in the sky.
People’s faces were not very clear.
They seemed to be battered
even before the blow had struck home.
One thing for which he fought all his life,
with words, tooth and claw, grimly,
cunningly, off his own bat:
the thing which he called his peace,
now that he’s got it, there is no longer a mouth
over his bones, to taste it with.

Original

 

auf das grab eines friedlichen mannes

dieser da war kein menschenfreund,
mied Versammlungen, kaufhäuser, arenen.
seinesgleichen fleisch aß er nicht.

auf den Straßen ging die gewalt
lächelnd, nicht nackt.
aber es waren schreie am himmel.

die gesiebter der leute waren nicht deutlich,
sie schienen zertrümmert,
noch ehe der schlag gefallen war.

eines, um das er zeitlebens gekämpft hat,
mit Wörtern und zahnen, ingrimmig,
hinterlistig, auf eigene faust:

das ding, das er seine ruhe nannte
da er es hat, nun ist kein mund mehr
an seinem gebein, es zu schmecken.

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