Friday, January 23, 2009

Poem by Ulrich Wendt

Historical Note:

In the late winter of 1945, Russian troops had penetrated deep into East Prussia along the Baltic coast - a land of dark forests and small farming villages. All those who could, had already fled before the advancing tanks. Inconveniently for his wife and daughter, the village wheelwright lay dying.

- Ulrich Wendt

Instructions for My Funeral

Let’s keep it simple. Neither of you will feel like singing, I suppose,
and the approaching drums are not the kind of music any of us likes.

Don’t dig the grave by night. Do it in the open day
to show that nothing’s being buried here of value.

Ah yes, the spot! Let’s have it by the old pear tree. It doesn’t yield
and if you need to cut the roots, who cares?

Not deep – the ground here’s hard – but deep enough.
And place me facing downward. Otherwise, without a box,
the first few clumps of dirt would be – let’s say – without appeal.

Then leave. For god’s sake leave! And leave the spade to mark the spot.

Others may come with burdens of their own
and they’ll find the digging easier.

No comments:

Post a Comment