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This poem is taken from PN Review 240, Volume 44 Number 4, March - April 2018.

‘Das Märchen vom Schlauraffenland translated by Karen Leeder Ulrike Almut Sandig
Karen Leeder

translates from the German
Ulrike Almut Sandig, ‘Das Märchen vom Schlauraffenland’

 

TALE OF THE LAND OF MILK AND HONEY

Good evening, Deutschland, turn the fog lights on        

we’re after telling it like it is, being on cue:

those who want in must chomp their way through
a cake that’s not found anywhere in Grimm;

those who want out are gone in two shakes, quicker
than the time it takes to think of a four-syllable word.

Just say three times: MilkandHoney, MilkandHoney.
We’ve lost our way in your shopping malls    

can’t tell them apart any more. In Höxter            

a fat girl buys an angel of clay and asks

at the till: what does hope mean? In Steinheim        

Hakan drinks his coffee strong, last night he dreamed
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