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Die Bücherverbrennung ("The Burning of the Books")
by Bertolt Brecht
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

When the Regime
commanded the unlawful books to be burned,
teams of dull oxen hauled huge cartloads to the bonfires.

Then a banished writer, one of the best,
scanning the list of excommunicated texts,
became enraged: he’d been excluded!

He rushed to his desk, full of contemptuous wrath,
to write fiery letters to the incompetents in power —
Burn me! he wrote with his blazing pen —
Haven’t I always reported the truth?
Now here you are, treating me like a liar!
Burn me!

German text:

Die Bücherverbrennung

Als das Regime befahl, Bücher mit schädlichem Wissen
Öffentlich zu verbrennen, und allenthalben
Ochsen gezwungen wurden, Karren mit Büchern
Zu den Scheiterhaufen zu ziehen, entdeckte
Ein verjagter Dichter, einer der besten, die Liste der
Verbrannten studierend, entsetzt, daß seine
Bücher vergessen waren. Er eilte zum Schreibtisch
Zornbeflügelt, und schrieb einen Brief an die Machthaber.
Verbrennt mich! schrieb er mit fliegender Feder, verbrennt mich!
Tut mir das nicht an! Laßt mich nicht übrig! Habe ich nicht
Immer die Wahrheit berichtet in meinen Büchern? Und jetzt
Werd ich von euch wie ein Lügner behandelt! Ich befehle euch:
Verbrennt mich!

Published by Poetry Super Highway, The Hindu, The Tory, Chicago Sun-Times (excerpt), Poemist, Poetry on Demand and Convivium

Keywords/Tags: Bertolt Brecht, German, translation, burning, books, banned, harmful, unlawful, ****, regime, fires, bonfires, oxen, carts, cartloads, Adolph ******, writer, writers, excommunicated, exiled, burn, truth, pen, blazing, fiery, liar
One hundred men gather to decide their king.

They bring their minds and gold together;
They weave a crown of rope with gilded string,
Then, quietly, it lay before them in the grass

The first man moves to seize the rope,
"See your king with rope in grasp!"
Another comes and yanks it back, "I brought more gold than you!"

Another comes, and another still, 'till every man has seized the rope,
Until it wrapped around the throat of someone in the feud.
"Hold! We've gone too far," said the man whose throat was caught.

The rabble of the hundred men ended as it came,
And each the golden rope held firm; one-hundred men had pulled the knots.
The man who brought the most gold said to the one who seized it first,

"I'd rather you, the first to take the rope, be king!"

The first to lift it said back,
"And I that it were any of you!"
Thoughts on kingdoms and leadership, translated in fun old-timey parable-speak :)
Jean Jun 2018
There is no space for you in this regime
I had thought once and for all that I might truly be queen
but now I am forced to share my throne with a beast

now only the silence meets my screams
it sits me down for a meal that I must eat
my throne at the end of the table no longer my seat

the hand of night seldom brings
the rest and beauty of the now lost dream
my mind is only sieged in sleep

nothing I say will bring me peace
saving, no longer, can be decreed
not as long as you can speak

and as I weep
for your feet are those of a thief
yet you are not the one to flee
you have made your story one to believe

no, no, you are not welcome in this regime
there is only one crown and only one queen
ICN Jul 2017
What happened?
Oh wait I remember
A president was elected
But we didn't get him
Instead we a got a dictatorial regime.

Freedom of speech was the first right to go
Slowly but surely
Prisoners of war
Accumulated in the prisons.

College kids and Activists
Beaten, *****, shot, ridiculed.
They might as well have been tarred and feathered

How sick do you have to be to shoot at a girl
Sitting
With her eyes closed
Crying for her country?

How sick do you have to be to paralyze a 15 year old boy
Walking
With the rest of us
For his future?

And don't get me started on the grandpa
Who was marching
with his grandchildren

Or the violinist
Dedicating a tune to his country

All trying
To escape from this country
Plagued by insecurity, inflation, and corruption.

The only thing we have left
Is a small scrap of hope.
i don't usually write about Venezuela, because it is a very touchy subject for me but i couldn't help it after yesterday
Allow me to flow my water in your stream
My beloved take every ray of the light beam
Your beauty is my asset my love is your theme
Let us being supreme enjoy our real regime

Take me to your garden to taste your ever fruit
Being cute allow me to sing song on your flute
Allow my love to pay your beauty proper tribute
I am of no consequence you are beauty of repute

Let me take all your taste and flavor in trance
My sweetheart give me time and again a chance
I can sacrifice my love for the sake of a glance
I love you I love you this but my real valid stance

Col Muhammad Khalid Khan
Copyright 2016 Golden Glow
M Padin May 2016
O handsome thrill, immodest in measure:
the red death upon which I cast my infamy
is visible in the village square.
No judge shall restore bleached skulls to dignity
now that I unlace my boots at leisure.
(c) 2016. All rights reserved.
Frank Ruland Oct 2014
Good--I'm glad I have your attention.
Look, I don't have much time
before those nut-hoarding *******
discover my secret contentions!
The furry devils want what's yours and mine
and won't stop until we're captured!
Some people think I'm lost my mind
but I think I can trust you with my words.
As I speak, those tree scurrying devils
spy upon all us of from behind!
Some fools think I'm absurd,
but in their pompous accusations I revel!
The heathens aren't just burying nuts--
no, food storage isn't what this is about.
They get what they need from bird feeders.
They've finally gathered enough guts
to plant listening devices all around,
while they listen inside oaks and cedars.
They want to take over the human race
and steal our resources for their own use.
The cretins are smarter than you think!
They feel scorned by the genocide taken place--
rendering them roadkill--flattening their faces!
We run them over; drive them to the brink,
and for this they wish to make us pay.
Please, heed my warnings and prepare
for a war unlike any you have ever seen!
There is carnage coming this way,
to be dealt by tiny, fuzzy hands, but don't despair.
It's not too late to stop their regime!
Gavin Barnard Oct 2014
The walls are closing in,
And time is running short.
This path I have taken
Is reaching its end.

I can't see it,
The finish line.
16 years in the dark
And still no light.

It makes me wonder,
Will I always be
Dark and damp?
Cold like a stone?

Knee deep in stagnant water
With a leak from nowhere,
Dripping away forever,
Only adding to my tears.

Ten thousand I have shed,
Waiting for a light to come down.
Still no hope, still no care.
I lost faith, enough to push everybody away.

Why people break my war machine
And takes all my bullets
And fights D-day for me,
I still cannot comprehend.

16 years I've been defending
Against all those who care.
Defending my sorrow, my tears,
That became me, slowly but surely.

I love myself enough to defend it,
I hate myself enough to end it.
Please, don't fight my fights.
Don't break my work on myself.

— The End —