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Best Famous Bertolt Brecht Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Bertolt Brecht poems. This is a select list of the best famous Bertolt Brecht poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Bertolt Brecht poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Bertolt Brecht poems.

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Written by Bertolt Brecht |

To Those Born After

 To the cities I came in a time of disorder
That was ruled by hunger.
I sheltered with the people in a time of uproar And then I joined in their rebellion.
That's how I passed my time that was given to me on this Earth.
I ate my dinners between the battles, I lay down to sleep among the murderers, I didn't care for much for love And for nature's beauties I had little patience.
That's how I passed my time that was given to me on this Earth.
The city streets all led to foul swamps in my time, My speech betrayed me to the butchers.
I could do only little But without me those that ruled could not sleep so easily: That's what I hoped.
That's how I passed my time that was given to me on this Earth.
Our forces were slight and small, Our goal lay in the far distance Clearly in our sights, If for me myself beyond my reaching.
That's how I passed my time that was given to me on this Earth.
II You who will come to the surface From the flood that's overwhelmed us and drowned us all Must think, when you speak of our weakness in times of darkness That you've not had to face: Days when we were used to changing countries More often than shoes, Through the war of the classes despairing That there was only injustice and no outrage.
Even so we realised Hatred of oppression still distorts the features, Anger at injustice still makes voices raised and ugly.
Oh we, who wished to lay for the foundations for peace and friendliness, Could never be friendly ourselves.
And in the future when no longer Do human beings still treat themselves as animals, Look back on us with indulgence.

Written by Bertolt Brecht |

To Posterity

 Indeed I live in the dark ages!
A guileless word is an absurdity.
A smooth forehead betokens A hard heart.
He who laughs Has not yet heard The terrible tidings.
Ah, what an age it is When to speak of trees is almost a crime For it is a kind of silence about injustice! And he who walks calmly across the street, Is he not out of reach of his friends In trouble? It is true: I earn my living But, believe me, it is only an accident.
Nothing that I do entitles me to eat my fill.
By chance I was spared.
(If my luck leaves me I am lost.
) They tell me: eat and drink.
Be glad you have it! But how can I eat and drink When my food is snatched from the hungry And my glass of water belongs to the thirsty? And yet I eat and drink.
I would gladly be wise.
The old books tell us what wisdom is: Avoid the strife of the world Live out your little time Fearing no one Using no violence Returning good for evil -- Not fulfillment of desire but forgetfulness Passes for wisdom.
I can do none of this: Indeed I live in the dark ages! 2.
I came to the cities in a time of disorder When hunger ruled.
I came among men in a time of uprising And I revolted with them.
So the time passed away Which on earth was given me.
I ate my food between massacres.
The shadow of murder lay upon my sleep.
And when I loved, I loved with indifference.
I looked upon nature with impatience.
So the time passed away Which on earth was given me.
In my time streets led to the quicksand.
Speech betrayed me to the slaughterer.
There was little I could do.
But without me The rulers would have been more secure.
This was my hope.
So the time passed away Which on earth was given me.
You, who shall emerge from the flood In which we are sinking, Think -- When you speak of our weaknesses, Also of the dark time That brought them forth.
For we went,changing our country more often than our shoes.
In the class war, despairing When there was only injustice and no resistance.
For we knew only too well: Even the hatred of squalor Makes the brow grow stern.
Even anger against injustice Makes the voice grow harsh.
Alas, we Who wished to lay the foundations of kindness Could not ourselves be kind.
But you, when at last it comes to pass That man can help his fellow man, Do no judge us Too harshly.
translated by H.

Written by Bertolt Brecht |

What Has Happened?

 The industrialist is having his aeroplane serviced.
The priest is wondering what he said in his sermon eight weeks ago about tithes.
The generals are putting on civvies and looking like bank clerks.
Public officials are getting friendly.
The policeman points out the way to the man in the cloth cap.
The landlord comes to see whether the water supply is working.
The journalists write the word People with capital letters.
The singers sing at the opera for nothing.
Ships' captains check the food in the crew's galley, Car owners get in beside their chauffeurs.
Doctors sue the insurance companies.
Scholars show their discoveries and hide their decorations.
Farmers deliver potatoes to the barracks.
The revolution has won its first battle: That's what has happened.

Written by Bertolt Brecht |

The Mask Of Evil

 On my wall hangs a Japanese carving,
The mask of an evil demon, decorated with gold lacquer.
Sympathetically I observe The swollen veins of the forehead, indicating What a strain it is to be evil.

Written by Bertolt Brecht |

I Never Loved You More

 I never loved you more, ma soeur
Than as I walked away from you that evening.
The forest swallowed me, the blue forest, ma soeur The blue forest and above it pale stars in the west.
I did not laugh, not one little bit, ma soeur As I playfully walked towards a dark fate-- While the faces behind me Slowly paled in the evening of the blue forest.
Everything was grand that one night, ma soeur Never thereafter and never before-- I admit it: I was left with nothing but the big birds And their hungry cries in the dark evening sky.

Written by Bertolt Brecht |

Questions From A Worker Who Reads

 Who built Thebes of the seven gates?
In the books you will find the names of kings.
Did the kings haul up the lumps of rock? And Babylon, many times demolished Who raised it up so many times? In what houses of gold-glittering Lima did the builders live? Where, the evening that the Wall of China was finnished Did the masons go? Great Rome Is full of triumphal arches.
Who erected them? Over whom Did the Caesars triumph? Had Byzantium, much praised in song Only palaces for its inhabitans? Even in fabled Atlantis The night the ocean engulfed it The drowning still bawled for their slaves.
The young Alexander conquered India.
Was he alone? Caesar beat the Gauls.
Did he not have even a cook with him? Philip of Spain wept when his armada Went down.
Was he the only one to weep? Frederick the Second won the Seven Year's War.
Who Else won it? Every page a victory.
Who cooked the feast for the victors? Every ten years a great man? Who paid the bill? So many reports.
So many questions.

Written by Bertolt Brecht |

Kinderhymne (Childrens Hymn)


Anmut sparet nicht noch M?he
Leidenschaft nicht noch Verstand
Da? ein gutes Deutschland bl?he
Wie ein andres gutes Land 

Da? die V?lker nicht erbleichen
Wie vor einer R?uberin
Sondern ihre H?nde reichen
Uns wie andern V?lkern hin.
Und nicht ?ber und nicht unter Andern V?lkern wolln wir sein Von der See bis zu den Alpen Von der Oder bis zum Rhein.
Und weil wir dies Land verbessern Lieben und beschirmen wir's Und das liebste mag's uns scheinen So wie andern V?lkern ihrs.
[translation] Spare no grace or pains of yours Spare no passion or insight So that a good Germany flowers Like many another good country.
So that the peoples do not turn pale Before us as before a bird of prey— But that they reach out their hands To us as to other peoples.
And so that we desire to be not above, and not below other peoples, >From the ocean to the Alps, from the Oder to the Rhein.
And because we are tending to this land, May we love and protect it; And may it seem to us the dearest, Just as to others their own land seems.

Written by Bertolt Brecht |

Contemplating Hell

 Contemplating Hell, as I once heard it,
My brother Shelley found it to be a place
Much like the city of London.
I, Who do not live in London, but in Los Angeles, Find, contemplating Hell, that is Must be even more like Los Angeles.
Also in Hell, I do not doubt it, there exist these opulent gardens With flowers as large as trees, wilting, of course, Very quickly, if they are not watered with very expensive water.
And fruit markets With great leaps of fruit, which nonetheless Possess neither scent nor taste.
And endless trains of autos, Lighter than their own shadows, swifter than Foolish thoughts, shimmering vehicles, in which Rosy people, coming from nowhere, go nowhere.
And houses, designed for happiness, standing empty, Even when inhabited.
Even the houses in Hell are not all ugly.
But concern about being thrown into the street Consumes the inhabitants of the villas no less Than the inhabitants of the barracks.

Written by Bertolt Brecht |

The Solution

 After the uprising of the 17th June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts.
Would it not be easier In that case for the government To dissolve the people And elect another?

Written by Bertolt Brecht |

To Be Read In The Morning And At Night

 My love
Has told me
That he needs me.
That's why I take good care of myself Watch out where I'm going and Fear that any drop of rain Might kill me.

Written by Bertolt Brecht |

Solidarity Song

 Peoples of the world, together
Join to serve the common cause!
So it feeds us all for ever
See to it that it's now yours.
Forward, without forgetting Where our strength can be seen now to be! When starving or when eating Forward, not forgetting Our solidarity! Black or white or brown or yellow Leave your old disputes behind.
Once start talking with your fellow Men, you'll soon be of one mind.
Forward, without forgetting Where our strength can be seen now to be! When starving or when eating Forward, not forgetting Our solidarity! If we want to make this certain We'll need you and your support.
It's yourselves you'll be deserting if you rat your own sort.
Forward, without forgetting Where our strength can be seen now to be! When starving or when eating Forward, not forgetting Our solidarity! All the gang of those who rule us Hope our quarrels never stop Helping them to split and fool us So they can remain on top.
Forward, without forgetting Where our strength can be seen now to be! When starving or when eating Forward, not forgetting Our solidarity! Workers of the world, uniting Thats the way to lose your chains.
Mighty regiments now are fighting That no tyrrany remains! Forward, without forgetting Till the concrete question is hurled When starving or when eating: Whose tomorrow is tomorrow? And whose world is the world?

Written by Bertolt Brecht |


 THERE'S no use in weeping, 
Though we are condemned to part: 
There's such a thing as keeping 
A remembrance in one's heart: 

There's such a thing as dwelling 
On the thought ourselves have nurs'd, 
And with scorn and courage telling 
The world to do its worst.
We'll not let its follies grieve us, We'll just take them as they come; And then every day will leave us A merry laugh for home.
When we've left each friend and brother, When we're parted wide and far, We will think of one another, As even better than we are.
Every glorious sight above us, Every pleasant sight beneath, We'll connect with those that love us, Whom we truly love till death ! In the evening, when we're sitting By the fire perchance alone, Then shall heart with warm heart meeting, Give responsive tone for tone.
We can burst the bonds which chain us, Which cold human hands have wrought, And where none shall dare restrain us We can meet again, in thought.
So there's no use in weeping, Bear a cheerful spirit still; Never doubt that Fate is keeping Future good for present ill !

Written by Bertolt Brecht |

O Germany Pale Mother!

 Let others speak of her shame,
I speak of my own.
O Germany, pale mother! How soiled you are As you sit among the peoples.
You flaunt yourself Among the besmirched.
The poorest of your sons Lies struck down.
When his hunger was great.
Your other sons Raised their hands against him.
This is notorious.
With their hands thus raised, Raised against their brother, They march insolently around you And laugh in your face.
This is well known.
In your house Lies are roared aloud.
But the truth Must be silent.
Is it so? Why do the oppressors praise you everywhere, The oppressed accuse you? The plundered Point to you with their fingers, but The plunderer praises the system That was invented in your house! Whereupon everyone sees you Hiding the hem of your mantle which is bloody With the blood Of your best sons.
Hearing the harangues which echo from your house, men laugh.
But whoever sees you reaches for a knife As at the approach of a robber.
O Germany, pale mother! How have your sons arrayed you That you sit among the peoples A thing of scorn and fear!

Written by Bertolt Brecht |

From A German War Primer

It is considered low to talk about food.
The fact is: they have Already eaten.
The lowly must leave this earth Without having tasted Any good meat.
For wondering where they come from and Where they are going The fine evenings find them Too exhausted.
They have not yet seen The mountains and the great sea When their time is already up.
If the lowly do not Think about what's low They will never rise.
Useless The pouring out of the people's sweat.
The laurel groves have been Lopped down.
From the chimneys of the arms factories Rises smoke.
The fields still bear The cities still stand.
The people still breathe.
ON THE CALENDAR THE DAY IS NOT YET SHOWN Every month, every day Lies open still.
One of those days Is going to be marked with a cross.
THE WORKERS CRY OUT FOR BREAD The merchants cry out for markets.
The unemployed were hungry.
The employed Are hungry now.
The hands that lay folded are busy again.
They are making shells.
Those for whom the contribution is destined Demand sacrifice.
Those who eat their fill speak to the hungry Of wonderful times to come.
Those who lead the country into the abyss Call ruling too difficult For ordinary men.
WHEN THE LEADERS SPEAK OF PEACE The common folk know That war is coming.
When the leaders curse war The mobilization order is already written out.
THOSE AT THE TOP SAY: PEACE AND WAR Are of different substance.
But their peace and their war Are like wind and storm.
War grows from their peace Like son from his mother He bears Her frightful features.
Their war kills Whatever their peace Has left over.
The man who wrote it Has already fallen.
THOSE AT THE TOP SAY: This way to glory.
Those down below say: This way to the grave.
THE WAR WHICH IS COMING Is not the first one.
There were Other wars before it.
When the last one came to an end There were conquerors and conquered.
Among the conquered the common people Starved.
Among the conquerors The common people starved too.
The truth of this is seen In the cookhouse.
In their hearts should be The selfsame courage.
But On their plates Are two kinds of rations.
WHEN IT COMES TO MARCHING MANY DO NOT KNOW That their enemy is marching at their head.
The voice which gives them their orders Is their enemy's voice and The man who speaks of the enemy Is the enemy himself.
IT IS NIGHT The married couples Lie in their beds.
The young women Will bear orphans.
GENERAL, YOUR TANK IS A POWERFUL VEHICLE It smashes down forests and crushes a hundred men.
But it has one defect: It needs a driver.
General, your bomber is powerful.
It flies faster than a storm and carries more than an elephant.
But it has one defect: It needs a mechanic.
General, man is very useful.
He can fly and he can kill.
But he has one defect: He can think.

Written by Bertolt Brecht |

Send Me A Leaf

 Send me a leaf, but from a bush
That grows at least one half hour
Away from your house, then
You must go and will be strong, and I
Thank you for the pretty leaf.