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Brecht's Spring

Dashboard tells me that the high temperatures for today and the next two days are 47F. It's a Pomona Spring, one might say. On that note, a poem by Brecht.

Suhrkamp (Frankfurt am Main) put out a volume of Brechts poems, a small volume in that it fits in the hand and has the height and width of a Reclam volume but considerably more depth. When I asked colleagues for their best guess at the page count, the responses tended toward 400 or 500, but it's actually closer to 1400.


An einem dürren Ast
ist eine Blut' erblüht
Hat sich heut nacht bemüht
Und nicht den Mai verpaßt.

Ich hatt' so kein Vertraun
Daß ich ihn schon verwarf
Für Anblick und Bedarf.
Hätt ihn fast abgehaun.

—Bertolt Brecht

This short verse belongs to Brecht's 1947 and later work, though I am not certain at the moment of when it was written. Each short stanza uses a simple A-B-B-A rhyme scheme, but what I like about the second is that there is a parallel, too, between the hatt of the first line and the hätt of the fourth, a move from indicative to subjunctive.

It's an otherwise unremarkable but pretty poem.

—March 18 2007