Sahra Kirsch’s poem The Black Seed

I’m hurt. Or: I’m unhappy. Or: I’m bewildered. That is all Sahra Kirsch wants to tell us in her poem. Is it really not more? Are not. Also for what? I know, there are a lot of great philosophical epics, political hymns and intellectual satires. And so on. But who wants to share their thoughts, they can write articles or give interviews or write essays. I believe that, on the contrary, the poem only expresses what it does not allow to express in any other way. So first and foremost must be emotions, moods, suffering, hopes, nostalgia and bitterness.
Sahra Kirsch didn’t want to know anything about reflective poetry. The pedagogical nature is also not her case, the propagandist’s gesture is as foreign to her as the ambition of the enlightened one. Her poetry is a confession and self-actualization, her main theme being nothing more than love, the misery and curse of love, the happiness and grace of love. The poem “Black Seeds” was first printed in 1968 in the GDR, and the following year at the Writers’ Congress in East Berlin, the female author (who lived in the GDR until 1977) was harshly criticized. . People say it’s too pessimistic, too bleak. It is clear that the poem is elevated to a political point of view. Do people misunderstand? Not necessarily. One by one can feel great poetry – here we are involved in it – in his own way.

I read eleven verses like a love poem. Of course, it is absolutely impossible to talk about love here – and yet nothing else can be said. A lonely woman. She is insecure, impatient. She lifted a book in her hands, but she couldn’t concentrate. She put the book away again. She remembered that it wasn’t just her worry, she wasn’t the only one who suffered, that there was war somewhere. But she couldn’t think about it, because she didn’t stop worrying about herself.

She made coffee, for him and for herself. He doesn’t come, you alone don’t need coffee. Impatience got worse, what she did, no longer made sense, what she wanted, was impossible, ground coffee beans no longer allowed to re-seed, the wheel of history did not allow spinning reverse. She took off her shirt, probably giving him someone who didn’t come, she couldn’t stand the loneliness. She put her clothes back on. Her makeup, definitely for him. She washed off her lipstick again. She tried singing. Nothing helped her. She was left alone, empty, lonely, she was left„silent“. Just like that a drum beat ends this poem.

Everything here is brief and not flowery. There is not a word that is unfamiliar, not a single word that is superfluous. Just describe the everyday. Yet it is a dramatic poem that is sad and contemplative, full of enthusiasm. It’s just that all of that is hidden between the lines, between the letters. Sahra Kirsch has written a poetic, dark and sour scene. However, the cultural policy makers of the SED party who are not satisfied with the poem “Black seed” are not stupid heads.

They are suspicious of the female author. They smelled it right: Anyone who longs for love like that, who sings such sadness, who complains about loneliness like that, is not suitable for the construction of so-called “socialism” “, not to mention dangerous. They have a point, officials warn: In their world the song of love is also a protest poem, a political poem.

This verse belongs to the heights of German poetry after 1945. I bow in gratitude and respectfully before Sahra Kirsch.
Black seeds

Sahra Kirsch

In the afternoon, I raise the book in my hand
In the afternoon, I let go of the book and let go of my hand
In the afternoon I remember, there was war
In the afternoon I forget every war
In the afternoon I grind coffee
In the afternoon, I mix ground coffee
Island of beautiful black seeds
In the afternoon I take it off and put it on
I put on makeup at first then wash it off,
let sing some songs
I am silent.

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