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Tag Archives: Erich Kastner

Welcoming fickle April

 

Here in southern Maine we are seeing a haze of green on lawns and buds on forsythia, though old snirt (snow and dirt) is still lying around, and a bit of snow is predicted for tonight. April is National Poetry Month and events abound.  See the Moon Pie Press website for a listing of events involving our poets.

Here is a poem by Erich Kastner (1899-1974), translated from the German by Ruth Bookey and used with her permission.

 

APRIL

 

Rain strums a green Easter melody

with one finger.

The year gets older, yet younger daily.

Oh harmonious contradiction!

 

The moon in his gold jacket

hides behind cloud curtain.

His left cheek is fat, poor thing.

He feels a little foolish.

March was successful:

he sent a full moon into April.

 

Rabbits are hopping,

with paintbrushes, tubes of color

and twitching noses.

Out of hollows and dens,

through gardens and streets,

over lawns, they hop

even in barns and homes.

 

As if it were easy they lay their eggs,

made of nougat, chocolate and marzipan.

The bravest lays a “bonbonniere.” *

He stares into space with determination.

“Bonbonniere” is easier said than done.

 

Next comes the painting.  It takes hours.

Then tying on the silk ribbons.

Hiding places are looked for, found:

behind the stove, under the sofa,

in the wall clock, on the path,

outside under the birch,

in the grandfather clock,

in the closet.

 

The rooster crows morning.

The rabbits disappear.

Windows sparkle in the sun.

A man yawns and leans on his garden gate.

Green fire runs over the slope

covering bushes and trees.

The man thinks spring is coming.

He doesn’t feel wonder or adventure,

he isn’t surprised any more.

 

Isn’t that a tiny paintbrush lying in the grass?

Even this the man doesn’t find unusual.

He didn’t even notice that an Easter rabbit

lost it on his way home.

 

  • Bonbonniere:  box holding bonbons, given on special occasions.

 

forsythia close up

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