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Radio Poem
by Bertolt Brecht
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

You, little box, held tightly
to me,
while escaping,
so that your delicate tubes do not break;
carried from house to house, from ship to train,
so that my enemies may continue communicating with me
on land and at sea
and even in my bed, to my pain;
the last thing I hear at night, the first thing when I awake,
recounting their many conquests and my cares,
promise me not to go silent all of a sudden,
unawares.

Keywords/Tags: Bertolt Brecht, German, translation, Holocaust, poem, radio, tubes, valves, transmission, communicate, communication, communicating, land, sea, bed, night, sleep, dawn, morning, awake, awakening, conquests, victories, triumphs, cares, losses, silence, silent
Madison Y Sep 2015
They told me to open up,

So I ripped my heart out

and sewed it to my sleeve
,
Only to be told that

it was ugly.

I rearranged the valves and the arteries;

Changed its beat,

Until someone told me it was beautiful 
and stole it from me.

I searched for years at every street corner,

In every alley way and 
‘I love you,’

But I couldn’t recognize it. 

I met a man

Prepared to exchange my heart for his,
 but I had none to give.

I stumbled across it one day,
 alone and sitting in a gutter.

It was bare, cheated, broken—

It felt right at home.

— The End —