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This poem is taken from PN Review 93, Volume 20 Number 1, September - October 1993.

Poems Michael Krüger

Michael Krüger was born in Saxony in 1943, grew up in Berlin, and has lived- for more than twenty years now - in Munich. Although a prose-writer, essayist and critic of note, and also the editor of the important literary magazine Akzente, he is best known for his thirteen books of poetry. It is hard to find common denominators in the case of someone with such an open, inclusive poetics; but even the following short selection reflects his preoccupation with two themes. The first is the state of German culture - 'Munich-Stuttgart and Back' is, for example, a cunning imitation of H&oauml;lderlin's hymn 'Patmos' (it is as though the Economic Miracle were being weighed against the 1790', and found wanting).The second is the fate of poetry in what Hegel termed the Age of Prose, its 'history of self-doubt A larger selection of Krüger's poems will be published by Carcanet at the end of the year to mark the author's fiftieth birthday.

Munich-Stuttgart and back (München-Stuttgart und zurück)

1
Humiliating
that this is not ours
People out in the free open air Green Germany
laid out put out at interest between all the little houses
And in the spring sunshine the heirs
are sitting outside their piles applauding nonstop
the downward trend in the rate of profit


2
Hope is swelling the River Neckar
the little boats digest every bend
Oh what stability! What sprezzatura!
If I'm not altogether mistaken
Life has good prospects
in between Munich and Stuttgart and back
if you are sitting facing the engine
...


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