O Deutschland, immer noch bleiche Mutter,/ geborgen fühl ich mich nicht in deinem Schoß, / dabei wünscht ich, es wäre anders, ...Mann muss Deutsch noch einmal studieren.
Speaking of languages
A recent essay in The Nation reviewed German books that have broken a supposed taboo against talking about the sufferings of Germans during World War II. It made me remember a very moving poem by Horst Bienek, a prolific TV writer as well as poet, in his collection Wer antwortet wem, way back in 1991 -- when that taboo, if it existed, must still have been in effect. Alas, when I went to re-read "Baracke Deutschland" I discovered that I couldn't -- I've forgotten too much vocabulary. As I recall, it's about the sufferings he remembers as a child at the end of the war, when his family was forced to abandon their home in what had suddenly become Polish territory. It begins,