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BRITISH-IRISH-POETS  June 2012

BRITISH-IRISH-POETS June 2012

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Subject:

Re: Grass

From:

Patrick McManus <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

British & Irish poets <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 5 Jun 2012 11:00:00 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (87 lines)

Oops wrong poem!

-----Original Message-----
From: British & Irish poets [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
Behalf Of Patrick McManus
Sent: 05 June 2012 10:55
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Grass

http://mondoweiss.net/2012/04/grass-smears-in-times-plus-new-translation-of-
his-silence-exploding-poem.html
cheers patrick-I think this is the right poem!!!

Why have I kept silent, silent for too long over what is openly played out
in war games at the end of which we the survivors are at best footnotes.

It’s that claim of a right to first strike against those who under a
loudmouth’s thumb are pushed into organized cheering— a strike to snuff out
the Iranian people on suspicion that under his influence an atom bomb’s
being built.

But why do I forbid myself
to name that other land in which
for years—although kept secret—
a usable nuclear capability has grown
beyond all control, because
no scrutiny is allowed.

The universal silence around this fact,
under which my own silence lay,
I feel now as a heavy lie,
a strong constraint, which to dismiss
courts forceful punishment:
the verdict of “Antisemitism” is well known.

But now, when my own country,
guilty of primal and unequalled crimes
for which time and again it must be tasked— once again, in pure commerce,
though with quick lips we declare it reparations, wants to send Israel yet
another submarine— one whose specialty is to deliver warheads capable of
ending all life where the existence of even one nuclear weapon remains
unproven, but where suspicion serves for proof— now I say what must be said.

But why was I silent for so long?
Because I thought my origin,
marked with an ineradicable stain,
forbade mention of this fact
as definite truth about Israel, a country to which I am and will remain
attached.

Why is it only now I say,
in old age, with my last drop of ink,
that Israel’s nuclear power endangers
an already fragile world peace?
Because what by tomorrow might be
too late, must be spoken now,
and because we—as Germans, already
burdened enough—could become
enablers of a crime, foreseeable and therefore not to be eradicated with any
of the usual excuses.

And admittedly: I’m silent no more
because I’ve had it with the West’s hypocrisy —and one can hope that many
others too may free themselves from silence, challenge the instigator of
known danger to abstain from violence, and at the same time demand a
permanent and unrestrained control of Israel’s atomic power and Iranian
nuclear plants by an international authority accepted by both governments.

Only thus can one give help
to Israelis and Palestinians—still more, all the peoples, neighbour-enemies
living in this region occupied by madness —and finally, to ourselves as
well.
-----Original Message-----
From: British & Irish poets [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
Behalf Of Peter Riley
Sent: 05 June 2012 09:57
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Grass

Anyone know where there's a translation of Günter Grass's poem about
Europe's treatment of Greece?

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/gnter-grass-attacks-merkel-fo
r-athens-policy-7791489.html

thanks,
PR=

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