Poems by Emmy Hennings tr. Goodby & Annwn

 from "Ätherstrophen  
Stanzas in the Ether /
Ether(eal) Stanzas /
Either Strophes"


A transl/mit/mut/a/tion by
David Annwn and John Goodby


Jetzt muß ich aus der großen Kugel fallen.
Dabei ist in Paris ein schönes Fest.
Die Menschen sammeln sich am Gare de l'Est
Und bunte Seidenfahnen wallen.
Ich aber bin nicht unter ihnen.
Ich fliege in dem großen Raum.
Ich mische mich in jeden Traum
Und lese in den tausend Mienen.
Es liegt ein kranker Mann in seinem Jammer.
Mich hypnotisiert sein letzter Blick.
Wir sehnen einen Sommertag zurück ...
Ein schwarzes Kreuz erfüllt die Kammer ...

tr. John Goodby


Now I have to drop off the great globe's edge!
Just as, in Paris, a great party is thrown -
People are gathering at the Gare de l'Est
And colourful silken flags are being flown;
Yet I can’t be down there with them -
I soar aloft in the great chamber.
I mingle with everyone else's dream
And I read the thousand expressions there.
A sick man lies racked in his agony.
I’m hypnotized by his dying stare.
We’re both remembering one summer's day …
A sudden black cross fills up the room ...

Yea, the great Kugel-Globe,

            and Du, about to spin off and out of
           it, which is down into--
        and this smash and Grab life over
            the horizon for ever
                you imagine it

                   Time to skip the last crazy ball
                      time to bite the final bullet
                                accept it
                             in bitte/ness

Time to stage your exit from the stage of this exitstence
         to be dragged off it from the wings with the vaudeville hook
                or fly from the apron with wings
            yet never escape the flies who does

And so forego the station meet-up the bunting
         the cries of joie
poppers lines MDMA puff
         on the ceiling with the wrong drugs now

afloat in the vasty halls of death  
the cosmos and all which it inherit
l'espace der Ewigkeit in the dreams
of your own but they are others'
face to faces, and whose of all those
written in the void by asterisms
but his alone, some lost last lover
always evoked are you lonely tonight

        And ach now in this fever-heat
               the coolness of imagined silk!

His last gaze going through transpiercing
and there you both wish to be a first appartement
the city a labyrinth
Zürich Cologne Paris

a summer's day the zoo by tram
a lakeside park picnic
scatter on a cloth of white
and at the close salmon clouds rose and gold
es schwebende im Westens

and as evening waxes lyrical hands    grazing
tingle-tangled so mad
and sad and bad
it was and jetzt how süß returning
heady with cava and sex and oncoming night

And now like a shadow let fall across the sun
like crow-flight suddenly black and chill

a schwartzes cross is nailed to the room mein Schatz
to this moment your dark departure our requiescat

version by John Goodby


Ich gehe morgens früh nach Haus.
Die Uhr schlägt fünf, es wird schon hell,
Doch brennt das Licht noch im Hotel.
Das Cabaret ist endlich aus.
In einer Ecke Kinder kauern,
Zum Markte fahren schon die Bauern,
Zur Kirche geht man still und alt.
Vom Turme läuten ernst die Glocken,
Und eine Dirne mit wilden Locken
Irrt noch umher, übernächtig und kalt.
Lieb mich von allen Sünden rein.
Sieh, ich hab manche Nacht gewacht.


Early morning; I make my way home.
The clock strikes five and it's getting light,
But in the hotel a light still burns.
The cabaret has finally closed its doors.
Children are huddled in a corner,
Farmers have started off for market,
The silent elderly are heading for church.
From the tower the bells sternly toll,
And a tart with her curls all disheveled
Still wanders about, sleepy and cold.
Love me refine me of all my sins.
Many's the night, you know, I've seen out.

tr. John Goodby


Ich gehe morgens früh nach Haus.

                             each word is dragged
                         make my way House

what are these bricks
‘people always write about my life’ but then you
get the chance not to and
write about your life:
schlägt fünf
striking five:

children, farmers, people, hooker, I

Das Cabaret
Floor, stage, outlook from unmentioned
endlich aus
Die Uhr schlägt fünf, es wird schon hell,
In the early morning I make my way home.
The clock strikes five and it's getting light,

An den Mond
Lösest endlich auch einmal
Meine Seele ganz.
Goethe echo and this exhausting
poverty walk
Kinder cower
as poor kids might notice you
adult stranger.
Distancing lends line
as though you could step
outside yourself:
this tableau

Doch brennt das Licht noch im Hotel.
The cabaret has finally emptied
gone as soon as notional come
its vacancy pulls --
In a corner, children hunker down,

farmers have already set off for market,
Morgenstund hat Gold in Mund
‘Early morning means gold in mouth’
Keine Bäuerin, Keine hausfrau mit Decke
No farmers’ wife, no house-wife with quilt

people make for church in silence, looking old.
silent old?
Sternly from the tower the bells are tolling,

Love’s alchemy
Love me pure of all my sins.

and a tart with dishevelled curls
is wandering around, sleepy and cold.

Glocken, Locken: that spell wound up:
the counter-worlds, a suspect

post-Cabaret flaneuse observes
unfathomable hybrid

Irrt noch umher
Wandering around

Many's the long night,
you know, that I've seen out

so many in-betweens

version by David Annwn