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This poem is taken from PN Review 125, Volume 25 Number 3, January - February 1999.

Eight Poems (translated by Christopher Middleton) Günter Kunert

Offside

More and more distant the crude
rumble of history. Soundless mice
scurry across the windowsill. Books
quietly wilt on the shelf. Outside, the dead
bird admonishes: in my Arcadia too
there is an old inhabitant.
Nature is always harassing me,
with the quick growth of stubble,
fingernails, the universe.
Will she never stop?
Now and again I'd like the clock
from the Jewish Town Hall in Prague
to be here: its hands
turn in reverse. Then the mice
would have to retire, tail first,
...


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